U.S. Satisfaction Dips to 19%

by Lydia Saad

Lowest score since August 1992

PRINCETON, NJ -- A March 6-9, 2008, Gallup Poll finds only 19% of Americans satisfied with the way things are going in the United States today. This is similar to the 20% found in early February and in November 2007, but is technically the lowest Gallup has recorded since August 1992.

Gallup initiated the U.S. satisfaction measure in 1979 and has been tracking it monthly since October 2000. The low point came in July 1979, when only 12% of Americans were satisfied with the state of the country. Americans' mood sank to nearly this level in 1992, when the percentage satisfied registered 14% in June of that election year and 17% in August.

The high points of satisfaction -- 70% and 71% -- came in January and February 1999 (under a booming economy), and in the post-9/11 period in December 2001 (when Americans were rallying in support of the country).

The last time a majority of Americans were satisfied with the direction of the country was in January 2004. After some volatility in 2004 and early 2005, satisfaction has essentially been in decline continuously since September 2005.

Since January 2007, U.S. satisfaction has dropped by nearly half, from 35% to 19%. However, it has dropped much more among Republicans (from 60% to 33%) than among Democrats (from 16% to 7%).

The 33% of Republicans satisfied with the country today is the lowest Gallup has found for members of President Bush's party since he took office in 2001.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,012 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted March 6-9, 2008. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only).

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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