Seventeen percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time, the low point in a year when satisfaction levels generally have been in the 20% range.
The current 17% satisfaction rating is low from a historical perspective, but still exceeds the all-time low, 7% in an October 2008 poll. Gallup first asked this trend question in 1979.
More generally, satisfaction averaged 22% this year, lower than all but three yearly averages — 2008 (15%), 1979 (19%), and 1992 (21%). The historical average across all years is 40%, and the yearly averages have been below that mark since 2006.
The United States’ continuing economic struggles are likely the reason behind the low satisfaction levels. Gallup’s “most important problem” question confirms this, as 30% of Americans say the economy in general is the top problem and 24% say unemployment or jobs specifically, easily the top two issues mentioned. Thirteen percent mention dissatisfaction with the government, 10% the federal budget deficit, and 8% healthcare.
When the incoming Republicans take office in January, they will have a lot of work ahead. But the good news is… almost nowhere to go but up!