Amid ongoing racial tensions, terrorist attacks, and police shootings Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States has plummeted over the past month, according to a new poll.
Gallup reports that just 17 percent of Americans are satisfied with the status quo in the U.S., down 12 percentage points from the 29 percent satisfaction rate the polling firm logged in June. The 12 percent point decline is one of the the largest drops in satisfaction over a single month since Gallup first started gauging monthly satisfaction levels in 2001. According to Gallup, it ties the previous record decline hit in October 2008 at the beginning of the financial crisis.
Between June and the July poll, taken from July 13-17, the nation has seen the killing of black men by police, mass shootings of police officers, and the massacre of 49 people by a terrorist at an Orlando gay bar. The attack in Nice, France, in which a terrorist killed 84 people when he drove a truck through a crowded street on Bastille Day, Gallup notes, has not helped to improve Americans’ mood.
While Republicans have general expressed a low satisfaction level with the way things are going in the U.S. under President Barack Obama, low satisfaction Democrats and Independents this month helped to drive down the satisfaction rate significantly.
According to Gallup, satisfaction among Democrats dropped a striking 22 percentage points over the past month from 51 percent in June to 29 percent in July. Independents’ satisfaction also dropped eight points from 24 percent to 16 percent. Republicans, who have not provided a satisfaction rating over 19 percent over the entirety of Obama’s presidency had a 6 percent satisfaction rate, also down compared to last month.
In conjunction with the low satisfaction rates, Gallup also found that Americans now believe race relations are the more important problem the U.S. now faces — up from 5 percent in June to 18 percent this month.
“Racial strife, epitomized in the recent police shootings and shootings of police, and highlighted in ongoing protests, appears to have ignited new concerns about the state of the U.S.” Gallup reports. “The American public now says race relations/racism is the nation’s single most important problem, and overall satisfaction with the way things are going in the country has dropped significantly.”