Story at a glance

  • A new Gallup poll shows that just 13 percent of Americans are happy with where the country is going.
  • This follows similar lows seen in 2008 and 2011.

National satisfaction amid the COVID-19 pandemic has dipped considerably since the virus arrived stateside. New data from Gallup reveals that just 13 percent of U.S. adults are satisfied with the current state of the nation. 

Previously, national satisfaction registered a higher 20 percent in early June, falling seven percentage points. The metric has consistently fallen from its 15-year high, which was 45 percent in February. 

Satisfaction has not beens this low since November 2011, when it was about 12 percent. Contextually, 2011 was the year U.S. credit dropped as the country worked to manage its debt accumulation. The satisfaction rating also stands 6 percentage points above the lowest national satisfaction rate ever recorded by Gallup, 7 percent in October of 2008, amid The Great Recession. 

“Americans have rarely been less satisfied with the state of the nation than they are now,” the report authors write.

On a deeper demographic level, data suggests that the drop in national positivity primarily occurred among Republicans. Gallup notes that among respondents who identified as Republican, satisfaction looms around the 20 percent mark, roughly half of last month’s reading of 39 percent satisfaction.

Interestingly, despite broad dissatisfaction among Republicans, party support of President Trump is still remarkably high, with Gallup noting a 91 percent approval rating, although this sentiment is not shared by Democrats or Independents, who reported a 4 percent and 34 percent, respectively. 

This balances out to an overall national approval rating of 41 percent for President Trump.

Researchers propose that given the party’s general approval of Trump, dissatisfaction may stem more from the regional outbreaks of the coronavirus, the subsequent economic contraction and discussion of systemic racism that has entered the national spotlight following the police killing of George Floyd. 

Gallup notes that low Republican satisfaction may also be reflected in preelection polls that showcase presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading by a sizable margin. 

This suggests uncertainty for Trump to be reelected. While national satisfaction rating does not have to be high for an incumbent president to be reelected, the lowest satisfaction rate reported when an incumbent was reelected was 33 percent, markedly above the current 13 percent reading.

The survey was conducted between July 1-23, using a random sample of 1,007 adults from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

Published on Aug 04, 2020