The American dream – that if you work hard, you’ll get ahead – does not hold true anymore for a majority of American voters anymore. Fifty-seven percent say the principle that hard work brings reward once held true, but no longer does, while 34 percent say the American dream still holds true. A much smaller number – just 9 percent – say the American dream never held true in the first place. While half of financially secure voters believe in the tenet that working hard yields prosperity, 84 percent of voters facing economic hardship say it no longer works, or never did.
Feelings about the American dream’s demise are basically shared across parties, with slightly more Republican voters saying it still holds true and slightly more Democratic voters saying it never held true. Donald Trump’s slogan “Making American Great Again” is definitely resonating with those who are more pessimistic – among leaned Republican voters who think the American dream is obsolete, 34 percent support Donald Trump, while 21 percent support Ben Carson. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has the support of 59 percent of leaned Democratic voters who still believe in the dream, compared to 19 percent of this group who support Sanders.