A new Gallup poll finds a continuing decline in Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States. Now at 19%, satisfaction has reverted to the levels seen in the first few months of the Obama presidency. Satisfaction was 13% when Obama took office in January 2009 but exceeded 30% during most of the summer.
Americans' satisfaction with the direction of the country began to decline in late August, after peaking at 36% earlier that month. Since then, satisfaction levels have continued to fall, now dipping below the 20% level.
Gallup has tracked Americans' satisfaction with national conditions since 1979. Since that time, there have been three other periods of sub-20% satisfaction ratings, all during difficult economic times for the United States. These include 1979 to 1981, when the nation dealt first with an energy crisis during the latter part of the Carter presidency and high unemployment in the early part of the Reagan presidency; 1992, as the U.S. was coming out of a recession; and 2008 to early 2009, during the economic downturn and the financial crisis, including a record-low 7% reading in October 2008.
Current satisfaction levels among all party groups are low, including 11% among Republicans, 17% among independents, and 29% among Democrats.
The recent decline in satisfaction has come almost exclusively among Democrats. In August, 59% of Democrats said they were satisfied with national conditions -- twice the level of the current poll. Independents' satisfaction has dipped from 31% in August to 17% in March, with most of that decline observed between August and September. (Continues here at Gallup)