Just a fraction of Americans think U.S. democracy is working well

Americans are broadly worried about the state of our democracy, according to a new poll released from the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

A plurality of 45% of respondents say it’s either not working “too well” or not working “well at all,” according to the poll, while just 16% of Americans believe democracy is working “well” or “extremely well.” Another 38% are somewhere in between, saying it’s working “somewhat well.”

On a slightly brighter side, a majority of Americans (54%) are optimistic that the country has a bright future and its best days are yet to come, while 45% say the country’s best days are behind it. Those numbers have remained roughly stable since last fall, when the outlet asked the same question in October 2020.

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