(The Center Square) – Only a fraction of Americans are satisfied “with the way things are going in the U.S.,” according to a new poll.
Gallup released the survey data, which showed that 79% of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction the country is headed, compared to only 21% of Americans who say the opposite.
“After Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. dipped to near-historical lows in June and July as gas prices soared, it has now returned to where it was in April,” Gallup said. “Currently, 21% of U.S. adults say they are satisfied, an increase from 13% in both June and July.”
Inflation comes in as a top concern for many Americans. Prices have soared at the highest level in decades in the past year. Inflation, the economy and government have been named as the top problems facing the country since March of this year.
“Currently, 22% of Americans name the government as the most important problem, while 17% say inflation is,” Gallup said. “Twelve percent mention the economy in general terms, the only other issue to be cited by at least 10% of Americans in response to the open-ended question. Beyond those issues, between 4% and 6% of Americans name immigration, race relations or racism, unifying the country, abortion, elections, election reform or democracy, poverty, or crime as the most important problem.”
Gas prices are also a significant concern. Gas prices hit record highs earlier this year before steadily dropping. In recent days, however, prices have begun to rise again.
“Three percent of Americans mention gas prices specifically, similar to the June and July figures of 5%, but much lower than in 2008, when gas prices reached their prior record high,” Gallup said. “In June 2008, 25% of Americans said gas prices were the most important problem, second only to general mentions of the economy that month. At that time, 6% of Americans mentioned inflation. This year, Americans may see higher gas prices as part of inflation more broadly, rather than as a separate issue.”
The satisfaction level varies by political affiliation.
“The recent improvement in satisfaction has occurred among both Democrats and independents, with no meaningful change among Republicans. Compared with June and July, when an average of 20% of Democrats were satisfied, 31% of Democrats now say they are satisfied. Among independents, the increase has been about as large, from 14% to 24%. Four percent of Republicans were satisfied in June and July, on average, compared with 6% in September.”