Dissatisfied

Will we ever be satisfied?

President Donald J. Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Md. Friday, July 10, 2020, en route to Miami International Airport in Miami
Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

Gallup has some stunning numbers about overall national satisfaction that do not bode well for Trump: U.S. Satisfaction at 13%, Lowest in Nine Years.

The current measure ties as the ninth lowest in Gallup’s history of tracking satisfaction since 1979. All of the other similar readings were recorded in tough economic times — in 1979 during the energy crisis, in 2008 during the Great Recession, and in 2011 after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating as the federal government struggled to contain U.S. debt.

That red line is truly noteworthy.

The plunge in the U.S. mood, both in the past month and since February, is mostly occurring among Republicans. Republicans’ satisfaction today (20%) is about half what it was a month ago (39%) and down 60 points since February, after the Senate acquitted President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. The current figure is easily the lowest for Republicans during the Trump administration, with their prior low being 38% in October 2017.

However,

Notably, even with Republicans highly dissatisfied with the state of the nation, they continue to overwhelmingly approve of the job Trump is doing as president (91%). Consequently, their dissatisfaction may have more to do with what is going on in the country — the coronavirus and its effect on economic activity, the focus on matters of race — than the administration’s handling of it. To some degree, it could also reflect Republicans’ awareness of pre-election polls showing Trump trailing Democrat Joe Biden by a significant margin.

The cocktail of partisanship, motivated thinking, and rationalization is one hell of a drug.

Regardless of the job approval number, the satisfaction numbers reflect an environment that is not favorable to an incumbent.

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FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Jay L Gischer says:

    My sister-in-law lives in Montana these days. I would describe her as a Main Street Republican, though that’s a vanishing breed these days. She reports a conversation with a Montana friend who said, “Of course I’m voting for him, but Trump is such an idiot”.

    This made me think of you, Steven, and all the things you’ve said about partisanship.

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  2. Joe says:

    Everything is terrible and nothing is Trump’s fault. Understood.

    13
  3. CSK says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    She may think Biden is a bigger idiot. For some people, this is a re-run of 2016. They can’t stand Trump, but they loathe the Democrat with a white-hot intensity.

    1
  4. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    They can’t stand Trump, but they loathe the Democrat with a white-hot intensity.

    And you know what? It means there is no reaching them. If someone still self identifies as a Republican then they have self identified as a total tool. Trying to reach out to them will have the same effect as when Obama reached out to the Republicans in Congress: it will weaken the actions we need to take and in the end there will always be some reason why they can’t support make the jump. F*ck these useless Republican nut jobs.

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  5. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I think you’re right. We may never recover from this.

    4
  6. Scott F. says:

    The cocktail of partisanship, motivated thinking, and rationalization is one hell of a drug.

    Throw in a massive dose of the gaslighting that Trump & Friends are so adept at and you’ve practically got a magic elixir.

    @Joe:
    One might say, “It is what it is.”

    6
  7. Monala says:

    Hamilton

    2
  8. An Interested Party says:

    She may think Biden is a bigger idiot.

    I don’t remember Biden suggesting bleach and sunlight as possible remedies for COVID-19…of course, maybe that’s because he never read the manuals

    2
  9. CSK says:

    @An Interested Party:
    Nor do I. But there are people who regard Biden as a doddering, senile old idiot. Most of them belong to Cult45, but some don’t.

    I find it difficult to conceive of anyone who could be worse than Trump.

    2
  10. Gustopher says:

    Regardless of the job approval number, the satisfaction numbers reflect an environment that is not favorable to an incumbent.

    Depends on why they aren’t satisfied, doesn’t it? If you want leftists locked up and the police state to crush the uppity brown people, and you recognize a modest increase in marginal tax rates as socialism, you’re going to vote for the incumbent. And if you think the problem with the China Virus is that we haven’t made the PC libtards call it by its name and that all these shutdowns are because of a Democrat Hoax…

    I’m confused by the 7% of Democrats who are satisfied. They look out, see the country in ruins, with people dropping dead of a pandemic, and police rioting in the streets, and say “this is fine.”

    Anyway, I hope everyone is satisfied with Tom Waits’ “Satisfied”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHn_Kb4Dz40

    1
  11. CSK says:

    From the NYT: Deutsche Bank is complying with a subpoena it received in the criminal investigation into Trump’s finances.

    3
  12. Sleeping Dog says:

    The cocktail of partisanship, motivated thinking, and rationalization is one hell of a drug.

    There are several Ph.D thesis there to explain this.

    1
  13. An Interested Party says:
  14. @Monala: Never throw away your shot at a Hamiliton reference.

    3
  15. @Sleeping Dog: Absolutely.

  16. @Gustopher: The point is taken, but when your candidate failed to win the popular vote the first time and find himself underwater in terms of popularity during his entire presidency (save for a couple of days at the very beginning) these are not the conditions one wants to win re-election for said candidate.

    New votes are nearly impossible to generate and holding all your old ones is likewise difficult.

    1
  17. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Looking at that picture, and the scowling face… It’s worth remembering that thumbs up originally meant: DEATH. I am sure he would like to be thought of as a Caesar.

    4 more months… 150,000 more additional deaths? Will we hit 500,000?

    I can’t get no… satisfaction.

    1
  18. Gavin says:

    I am dissatisfied – with all the winning!

    Neither font nor text color shall accurately denote the degree of my sarcasm.

  19. @Gavin: The volume of winning is, indeed, remarkable.

    1
  20. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Or Unsatisfied by The Replacements. Only ink on my body that is a song title. Had to – my favorite song ever.