WASHINGTON (January 2, 2014) A new poll released Thursday finds that Americans are starting the new year with a profoundly negative view of their government and little hope that elected officials can or will solve the nation's biggest problems.
Half of those surveyed in the poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research say America's system of democracy needs either "a lot of changes" or a complete overhaul.
Just one in 20 says it works well and needs no changes.
The percentage of Americans saying the nation is heading in the right direction hasn't topped 50 in about a decade.
In the new poll, 70 percent lack confidence in the government's ability to make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country.
People feel somewhat better about their personal lives and chances for economic improvement.