According to a new Gallup survey, a staggering 78% of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the direction of the country, with only 21 percent saying they are satisfied. This reading, from a February 1-17 Gallup poll, is slightly improved from the 17% recorded in January, but still among the lowest since Biden took office.
Gallup indicates that American satisfaction with the direction of the country peaked at 36% last May, just two months into Biden’s presidency. Since then, the number has steadily declined, with respondents citing dissatisfaction over crippling inflation and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as contributing factors.
When asked to identify priority issues, 30% of respondents mentioned inflation and overall economic concerns. General economic mentions were up from 22% from January, which was down from December where 29% of respondents mentioned general economic concerns. Additionally, a whopping 70% of respondents believed the economy was “worsening.” This was the highest mark since the start of pandemic lockdowns in April 2020, when workers were being laid off in droves. When asked to describe national economic conditions, 42% of those surveyed described them as “poor”, up five percentage points from January.
Problems with government and leadership were mentioned by 20% of respondents. “This includes contrasting partisan perspectives, including criticisms of the Biden administration among Republicans and criticisms of the Republicans in Congress among Democrats,” Gallup says. Additionally, 13% of respondents cited COVID-19 as a top concern, down from 20% in January.
The only other issues that 5% or more of Americans consider top priority were immigration (8%) and lack of unity in the country (6%). Racial issues and the judicial system each garnered 4% while 3% each mention healthcare, crime and poverty.
Gallup’s survey was conducted in early February, before the Russia-Ukraine conflict kicked off. Just 2% of respondents mentioned Russia as a top priority, though this is likely to rise.
A recent Politico poll pegged Biden’s overall approval rating at 41%.