When you first try to understand and reconcile the sharply divergent results of recent polling about America’s mood, one can quickly hit a wall of confusion and seeming contradiction.
But as an analysis at usatoday.com notes, what we’re experiencing in today’s America could largely be the result of actions by Barack Obama — the man many see as the most divisive, most polarizing president in the history of the United States — leading to poll results where politics trumps pocketbooks.
A new poll finds that Americans are facing the new year with a great deal of pessimism. In fact, according to USA Today/Pew Research Center, the public’s expectations for the future are the most depressed in nearly a quarter-century.
An end-of-the-year USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll finds an overwhelming 71% of those surveyed are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country today. Just 49% predict 2015 will be better — the first time since 1990 that optimism for the year ahead has dipped below 50%.
Despite the fact that Barack Obama was elected president on the promise that he would be the great uniter, this new poll finds that 81% say the country is more politically divided these days than in the past — the highest percentage in a decade.
Advertisement - story continues below
And on matters financial and economic, the public’s attitude appears to reflect uncertainty and instability in the nation’s current economy and in prospects for years to come.
…the improving economy hasn’t boosted everybody. While the jobless rate has declined to 5.8%, many people have given up looking for work and others are underemployed. A record-breaking stock market mostly helps those who own stocks.
Compare that reported public pessimism with new numbers on consumer confidence, and you can see almost a Jekyll and Hyde split in how Americans feel about themselves and their country.
Via wbponline.com comes news that consumer confidence is now soaring to heady heights far above analysts’ predictions:
Consumer confidence across the US markedly increased in December, staying at levels last seen prior to the recession, as Americans enjoyed lower prices at the gas pump and the job market continued to improve, a preliminary survey showed on Friday.
The University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters flash index tracking the mood among American shoppers booked 93.9 during the last month of the year, up from the final 88.8 snatched in November.
Then there’s the survey by Rasmussen from mid-October, showing the majority of Americans believe the country’s best days are behind us:
51% think America’s best days are already in the past, down just slightly from July’s high of 52% and one of the few times this figure has passed the 50% mark.
Image Credit: U.S. Embassy, Jakarta