Aug 25, 2019

70% of Americans believe the political system is rigged

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

An overwhelming majority of Americans feel angry and marginalized by a political system that "seems to only be working for the insiders,” according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday.

Why it matters: The percentage of angry Americans remains virtually unchanged from when the same question was polled in October 2015, a year before the political system was seemingly upended by the anti-establishment, "Drain the Swamp" message of then-candidate Donald Trump. Four years later, 2020 candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are using a similar populist message to win back the confidence of Americans by promising to fight for the forgotten worker.


  • 56% of Americans polled say they feel "anxious and uncertain because the economy still feels rocky," though 69% say they're satisfied with their personal financial situation.
  • 56% say race relations have gotten worse since Trump took office.
  • 27% of those surveyed say they’re confident that their children’s generation will be better off than them, down from 35% in August 2017.

Between the lines: Even though U.S. unemployment is holding steady at 3.7% after a 10-year recovery, Americans are still facing sluggish wages. The Trump administration denies warnings of a coming recession, but Americans are still anxious about what the future holds for the economy.

Methodology: The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Aug. 10–14 of 1,000 adults — more than half reached by cellphone — and it has an overall margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points.

Go deeper: Allies worry Trump is "running out of tools" to boost the economy

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 5,405,029 — Total deaths: 344,997 — Total recoveries — 2,168,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,642,021 — Total deaths: 97,698 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California Sunday in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.