Nightly News | September 07, 2010
WILLIAMS: Good evening.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: pushing ahead, always getting better, always improving, a future always brighter than our past. But tonight in the new NBC News polling numbers debuting today, Americans are losing hope in the future of their country in greater numbers now. Our new numbers contain bad news for the president and bad news for his party, a lot of it because the economy is beyond bad and it's been that way for quite a while. And we begin tonight with our political director, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd . Just a grim set of numbers this time.
It's always been the American ideal, part of the American way: It really is. And you're right. This pessimism isn't just about the now, it is about the future. Look at this first number. Is America in a state of decline? Sixty-five percent, two-thirds of the country , agrees that America is in a state of decline. That sort of sets the mood. Then we asked them, is the country headed on the wrong track or the right direction? Look at this. Sixty-one percent say the wrong direction. Now, to put this in some perspective, in 2006 at this point in time, 54 percent said we were headed in the wrong direction. In 1994 , 57 percent. Why do I bring up those two dates? Those are the last two times that Congress changed hands in a wave election. Things are actually worse now than at -- in 1994 or 2006 .
CHUCK TODD reporting: The president, as you pointed out, his job rating at a dismal 45 percent; 49 percent disapprove. But look at his numbers handling the economy. Fifty-six percent disapprove of that. Among likely voters actually, 61 percent disapprove of how he's handling the economy. How this translates into November in the match-up, do you prefer a Republican-controlled Congress or Democratic-controlled Congress ? Among all voters, it's even. But among those voters who tell us they're most likely to go to the polls, it is a 9-point Republican edge. That would be a blowout. That would mean 50- to 60-seat pickup for the Republicans , would mean Republicans would get control of the House and maybe even the Senate . And look at this. We've heard President Obama talk about, hey, if you put the Republicans in charge, it's just going back to the Bush era. But voters see the Republicans , if they get control of Congress , not having Bush era policies but having new ideas, Republican Party rebranding itself really without having to do anything.
TODD: And that would take away a huge part, as you point out, of the Obama