Americans More Satisfied With Economy, National Security After 3 Years of Trump: Gallup Poll

February 1, 2020 Updated: February 2, 2020

Americans say they are more satisfied with the economy, national security, and several other key issues now than when President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, according to a new Gallup poll.

The polling data, released on Jan. 27, found that public satisfaction with the nation’s economy, security from terrorism, military strength, and the state of race relations rose by double-digits.

Americans who are satisfied with the nation’s economy rose to 68 percent, up 22 percentage points from January 2017, when the number was 46 percent. A similar increase was recorded about the handling of anti-terror security, which rose 18 percentage points to 68 percent from 50 percent.

Satisfaction with military strength and preparedness rose 15 percentage points to 81 percent from 66 percent, while Americans are more upbeat about the state of race relations, showing an increase to 36 percent from 22 percent, amid falling African American unemployment rates.

Other issues also saw a jump in public satisfaction, including the nation’s policies to reduce and control crime (with a 47 percent satisfaction in 2020), the position of blacks and other racial minorities in the nation (46 percent satisfaction), income and wealth distribution in the country (43 percent satisfaction), and the opportunities for individuals to get ahead by working hard (72 percent satisfaction).

Meanwhile, respondents to the survey indicated less satisfaction in several areas, including the quality of the environment, which fell to 46 percent from 52 percent; the level of immigration into the country, to 35 percent from 41 percent; and the nation’s policies regarding abortion, which fell to 32 percent from 39 percent.

The average satisfaction for the 27 issues tracked is 47 percent, which is an increase of three points from 2018 and its highest level since January 2005, Gallup said. It said the average satisfaction is “roughly on par” with levels in the early 2000s. Tracking began in 2001.

In another set of data released on Jan. 24, the pollsters found that 41 percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are in the country, while 58 percent are dissatisfied. That level of satisfaction is up from 29 percent in 2017 and is the highest since 2005. The highest satisfaction level Gallup has ever recorded was 71 percent in February 1999.

One reason for drops in public satisfaction in recent years, Gallup suggested, is that respondents who identify with a particular party that doesn’t occupy the White House seem reluctant to express satisfaction with how things are going in the country.

Going into the 2020 election year, the poll could give some indications of public opinion on presidential job approval, satisfaction with the direction of the country, and economic confidence.

“Since 2005, on average, 11 percent of the opposition party’s supporters have said they were satisfied. Between 1992 (the earliest year for which Gallup compiled party data) and 2004, the opposition party’s satisfaction levels were three times higher, at 34 percent,” Gallup stated.

The Mood of the Nation poll was conducted by telephone between Jan. 2 and Jan. 15, with a random sample of 1,014 Americans over the age of 18 across the country. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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