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Partisan Divide in Public Satisfaction With US Direction Largest Since Iraq War [Poll]

The gap in the party satisfaction with “the way things are going in the U.S.” is now larger than any other time since the 2003 – 2011 war in Iraq.

The gap in the party satisfaction with “the way things are going in the U.S.” is now larger than any other time since the 2003 – 2011 war in Iraq, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.

The poll for August stated that 36 percent of the public is satisfied, continuing the upward trend of 2018. This year has provided a 12-year high in satisfaction, excluding one poll in November 2016, as well as a greater divide in satisfaction between the parties.

The partisan disparity of satisfaction grew larger than any time in the Obama administration, with 12 percent of Democrats satisfied compared to 67 percent of Republicans. Independents side more with Democrats, with 67 percent dissatisfied and 31 percent satisfied.

Party satisfaction has largely followed the winning party since 2002, but the gap since the 2016 election has grown, especially in the last year. Congress is becoming increasingly polarized, according to expert analysis, which may partly explain of the expanding satisfaction gap between parties.

The economy also has a role in determining the national satisfaction rating, as suggested by its low level at the time of the 2008 financial crisis. As the economic performance and outlook improved, so did the satisfaction rating, according to Gallup article from June.

The public’s satisfaction, which was 60 percent in 2000, has steadily declined until it dropped to 15 percent in 2008. Since then, it has slowly been rising.

Though economics do play a role in American satisfaction, “measuring the public’s satisfaction with the nation encompasses far more than economics,” according to Gallup. 

With the world and U.S. GDP growth rates stabilizing and even increasing since the crisis of 2008, the economy seems to be in an upswing from the perspective of many U.S. citizens.

The growth in satisfaction, though difficult to attribute to singular factors, represents a success for the current Republican leadership. The national satisfaction rate, which hovered around 27 percent for the past two years and in the mid-20s since 2012, has broken through to 36 percent in August’s poll.

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