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Americans Are Unhappy With Most Aspects of the Country, New Poll Shows

Carolyn Kaster

Last month, Townhall covered how numbers released by Gallup showed that Biden’s approval rating for 2022 was underwater. For the year, his approval rating averaged at 41 percent. For comparison, Republican President George W. Bush’s approval rating in his second year averaged better than 70 percent, as did President John F. Kennedy’s, who was a Democrat. Americans’ views on most aspects of the country are grim as well, another poll released this week shows. 

For over 20 years, Gallup has conducted a “Mood of the Nation” poll to compile Americans’ thoughts about the issues facing the country and their opinion on the direction the country is moving in. Record highs, for example, occurred in 2001 and 2022 at 89 percent satisfaction for  “quality of life” in the U.S.

In this year's survey, “most” Americans shared that they are content with the quality of life in the United States, but not the nation’s morals. Sixty-five percent said they are satisfied with the overall quality of life in the county and 61 percent said they are satisfied with the opportunities for a person to get ahead in life through hard work. 

However, these are the only two “societal dimensions” of eight measured by Gallup’s “Mood of the Nation” poll that majorities of Americans viewed positively.

On the other hand, Americans are least satisfied with the country’s moral and ethical climate (20 percent) the way income and wealth are distributed (24 percent) and the size and influence of major corporations (27 percent). 

In 2022, for comparison, 69 percent of Americans said they are satisfied with the quality of life in the U.S. Last year, 30 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the way income and wealth are distributed in the country, which indicates a six-point decrease in 2023. In Gallup’s write-up, the organization indicated that this may be because of inflation, which has placed a financial strain on many.

Americans' views on the moral and ethical climate in the country have remained the same since last year, with 20 percent satisfaction both years. 

Broken down by political party, only about a quarter of both Republicans and Democrats are satisfied with the size and influence of major corporations, as well as their thoughts on the moral and ethical climate of the United States. 

On the contrary, majorities of both groups are satisfied with the opportunity to succeed through hard work and with the overall quality of life.

“Partisan differences are starker with respect to specific policy areas, where the party gap is 20 points or more for half of the 22 issues measured,” Gallup pointed out. Guns is one area where the two parties differ: 

The widest gap is seen on the nation’s gun laws, with 56% of Republicans versus 12% of Democrats satisfied. But the gulf is nearly as wide for the quality of the environment and the position of Black people and other racial minorities in the nation -- both of which receive higher satisfaction ratings from Republicans than Democrats.

In the write-up, Gallup highlighted that Americans' views have changed due in part to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and “subsequent economic turmoil.”

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