A new survey from the American Association of Retired Persons shows Iowans have a high degree of optimism despite the current economic woes and other problems facing the nation. The advocacy group for older Americans surveyed 700 Iowans who voted in the November 4th election, and found that 70% believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. However, 67% say conditions will be better four years from now.
Jeff Lowe, a research director for A-A-R-P, says it’s unclear whether the optimism comes from the election of Barack Obama as president. "I think in some sense, the optimism you’re seeing among Iowans, and among the national population actually, is maybe an artifact of the honeymoon period," Lowe said. "It could be the case if you have a new administration, if you have a changeover, of any party, it could be that people are more optimistic then because of the changeover."
Lowe says the survey results offer hope. "Even though there are some really difficult situations in the country right now and the economy has some real challenges, that people are still looking toward the future, and they’re still asking to get things done, and they’re still concerned with the real issues for most Americans. That’s not surprising, but it’s encouraging." Nearly half of Iowans surveyed say the issue of healthcare factored in how they voted, second only to the economy on a list of important issues.