As has been the case for nearly two decades, a majority of Americans express dissatisfaction with the current state of the nation. Today, only about a quarter (24%) are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, while three-quarters say they are dissatisfied. Although public satisfaction is now higher than it was during the summer and fall of 2020, it is somewhat lower than it was both in the spring of 2021 and prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Partisans’ national satisfaction ratings typically shift with change in control of the White House: Democrats and Democratic leaners’ views improved markedly after the election and inauguration of President Joe Biden, though they have dropped since. Today, 35% of Democrats say they are satisfied with the state of the country, up modestly from earlier this year, but down from 47% in March of last year. By comparison, just 10% of Republicans express satisfaction with the way things are going in the country. GOP ratings are little changed over the last year but are substantially lower than they were throughout the Trump administration.
In contrast to low satisfaction with the state of the nation, majorities of Americans provide positive assessments of how things are going in their own communities.
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) are satisfied with the way things are going in their local community today, while 34% are dissatisfied. Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to express satisfaction with the state of their local community, and there are relatively modest demographic differences in these evaluations. Majorities across demographic groups express satisfaction with the way things are going in their local communities.
About half of Americans (51%) say they are hopeful about the state of the country today, up from 46% in January but down slightly from late November 2020. As has been the case since Biden won the 2020 presidential election, Democrats (63%) are considerably more likely than Republicans (37%) to say they feel hopeful about the state of the country.
Overall, 49% of Americans are angry with how things are going in the country, slightly lower than the shares saying this in late 2020 (54%) and early 2022 (55%), and far lower than the 71% who said this in June 2020.
Over the last two years, the share of Republicans saying they are angry about the state of the country has remained relatively stable, with about six-in-ten saying this (62% say this today). By comparison, 40% of Democrats now say they feel angry thinking about the state of the country, down from 50% earlier this year, and down from nearly eight-in-ten (78%) in the summer of 2020.
Just over half of the U.S. public (56%) says they are fearful about the country, down slightly from recent years. Republicans (60%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (54%) to say this.
Only about two-in-ten Americans say they are proud of the way things are going in this country, little changed since the summer of 2020. Democrats are slightly more likely than Republicans to report feeling proud today (26% vs. 17%). In 2020, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say this (25% vs. 10%).
Confidence in the nation’s future and its ability to solve problems
Today, 68% of Americans say they have some or quite a lot of confidence in the future of the United States, similar to the shares saying this in both 2020 and 2021.
While overall attitudes about the future of the U.S. have remained steady, partisan views have shifted since before the 2020 election.
About six-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (62%) say they have some or quite a lot of confidence in the future of the United States, a more positive evaluation than last year (54%). Still, Republicans express less confidence in the future of the country than they did in August of 2020 (76%).
Today, about three-quarters of Democrats and Democratic leaners (74%) express at least some confidence in the country’s future today. This is a 10 percentage point drop from last spring, but Democratic confidence in the future of the United States remains higher than it was in the summer of 2020 (58%).
A majority of the public (57%) says “Americans can always find ways to solve our problems,” while 41% say “this country can’t solve many of its important problems.” Overall, public assessments of whether the country can solve the pressing problems it is facing are little changed over the last three years.
Republicans (63%) are more likely than Democrats (54%) to say Americans can always find ways to solve national problems. However, Democrats express somewhat more optimistic assessments today on this question than they did in 2019 and 2020.
Americans are split on whether there are clear solutions to big issues facing the country today: 48% say there are clear solutions to most of the big issues facing the country, while 52% say most big issues don’t have clear solutions.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say that there are clear solutions to big issues facing the country (57% vs. 42%).