Americans across the political spectrum are dissatisfied with the state of the country and the direction the nation is headed, with the number of those claiming to be currently satisfied at nearly the lowest level ever recorded in modern history, The Hill reported.
Only 11% of American adults said they were satisfied with the direction the nation was headed at this point in time, just barely above the dismal 7% that said the same in late 2008 — when the housing market crashed and the “Great Recession” began — according to the pollsters at Gallup.
The Gallup poll was conducted among 1,023 U.S. adults between Jan. 4-15 with a margin of error of around 4 points — a fairly wide error margin, but not wide enough to make the poll’s findings substantially better.
COVID, economy, partisanship
The Daily Caller reported that there were several reasons cited by Gallup for why the satisfaction level of Americans was so low, chief among them being the coronavirus pandemic and the havoc it has wrought on society in terms of health, as well as the economic devastation caused by mandatory business closures and stay-at-home orders.
Indeed, the current state and future projections for the economy undoubtedly play a large role, particularly in light of the fact that Gallup measured a satisfaction rating with the country of 45% in February 2020, just prior to the onset of the pandemic in America.
Also contributing to the fact that 66% — two-thirds of the entire nation — are currently dissatisfied is that a political transition, one that was particularly fraught with bitterness on both sides, just concluded. Such occasions in the past have also led to exceptionally low rates of satisfaction as the outgoing party’s supporters become dissatisfied while the incoming party’s base has yet to see much from the new administration to be satisfied about, Gallup explained.
For example, according to Gallup, the level of satisfaction among Republicans had plummeted to 14% after registering at 60% prior to the November election.
The satisfaction level for Democrats remains at a low 5% — not significantly different than the 3-13% range that held steady throughout former President Donald Trump’s tenure in office.
Trump fared better than Obama
Despite all the grief Trump received throughout his term, the Gallup poll showed that, on average, more Americans were satisfied with the state of the nation during Trump’s time in office than during either of former Presidents Barack Obama’s two terms or George W. Bush’s second term, according to the Washington Examiner.
The average satisfaction rate under Trump was around 30%, lower than the all-time average of 36% but higher than Obama — 23 and 26%, respectively — or the 28% registered during Bush’s second term.
Gallup noted that a president would ideally like to see a satisfaction rate above 50%, but that seems unlikely during this particularly divisive and partisan era, and it remains doubtful that the rate will ever approach the majority levels reached at times under former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who hit the poll’s highest ever mark of 71% satisfaction in 1999.
Rasmussen recently reached similar results to the Gallup poll in which it found that only 24% of Americans believed that the nation was on the “right track” instead of the “wrong” one.