Gallup: Americans More Satisfied with Military, Security, Economy’; Less Happy About Health Care, Environment

Construction workers work the construction of a new building partly covered with a large US flag on September 25, 2013 in Los Angeles, California, where the state's Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will raise the California minimum wage from $8 to $10 per hour by 2016. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. …
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Ahead of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, Gallup has polled Americans to gauge their satisfaction or lack thereof on issues ranging from the economy and national security to the environment.

The most striking partisan swing revealed in the poll relates to the economy, with Republicans’ (and Independents that lean right) satisfaction with it up 57 percent between 2017 and 2018.

Democrats’ satisfaction with the economy dropped 14 percent.

Overall, the polling found that Americans are more satisfied now with military readiness, national security, and the economy than they were at the end of President Barack Obama’s presidency, but less satisfied when it comes to health care, America’s image abroad, and the environment.

Gallup reported three areas — military, economy, and security — have the highest satisfaction ratings of the 21 issues asked about in the poll.

The acceptance of LGBT people and women’s status in the U.S. also have high satisfaction rates, according to Gallup. But the 58 percent rating for women is still down substantially from the 72 percent who were satisfied in 2008 — the last time the question was asked.

Gallup noted the decline in women’s status might be the result of sexual harassment and discrimination cases in the headlines in recent months.

Gallup found that Americans are least satisfied with the nation’s efforts to deal with poverty and homelessness.

Gallup’s “Mood of the Nation” poll, conducted Jan.2-7, revealed that satisfaction with security from terrorism is up 13 percent and both military strength and the economy each gained 12 percentage points.

Gallup reported:

Perhaps related to the shift from a Democratic to a Republican president, most of the changes in satisfaction reflect the issues perceived as strengths and weaknesses for each party.

Americans typically credit Republicans with doing a better job on national security and defense, while they rate Democrats better on handling the environment and healthcare.

Increased satisfaction with the economy is likely related to consistent reports of improved economic indicators over the past year, including employment, GDP growth, consumer spending and the stock market.

Decreased satisfaction with the role of the U.S. in world affairs is likely attributable to Americans’ poor ratings of Trump’s handling of foreign affairs and coincides with record-low approval of the country’s leadership across the rest of the world.

Predictably, Gallup found that Republicans are more satisfied on every issue compared with last year, and Democrats are less satisfied with most.

Gallup noted that large drops in Democrats’ satisfaction rating together with some small increases among Republicans meant overall decreases in how American feel about access to affordable health care, the role the U.S. plays in the world, and environmental issues.

“These shifts in satisfaction reflect the partisan lenses that increasingly color the way the two groups view the state of the nation,” Gallup reported on the implications of the poll. “Satisfaction with the economy is a prime example: There are signs suggesting the economy is improving, but Democrats’ satisfaction with the U.S. economy has dropped.”

“This suggests their perceptions may be at least partially influenced by political partisanship — though other concerns such as income inequality may be at play,” Gallup reported, noting that Republicans watching the State of the Union will likely agree with President Donald’s Trump assessment of the nation’s state while Democrats likely will not.

The Gallup poll is based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, on cellphones and landlines. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.


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