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Voters See American Dream Slipping Out of Reach, WSJ/NORC Poll Shows

Nov. 24, 2023 12:01 am ET

The American dream—the proposition that anyone who works hard can get ahead, regardless of their background—has slipped out of reach in the minds of many Americans.

Only 36% of voters in a new Wall Street Journal/NORC survey said the American dream still holds true, substantially fewer than the 53% who said so in 2012 and 48% in 2016 in similar surveys of adults by another pollster. When a Wall Street Journal poll last year asked whether people who work hard were likely to get ahead in this country, some 68% said yes—nearly twice the share as in the new poll.

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