The State of the Presidency
When President Bush delivered his final State of the Union address this week, he confronted an American public that was dissatisfied with his leadership and with the direction of the country. According to Gallup’s 2007 average, only 33 percent of Americans approved of the job Bush was doing. Did his speech change anything? According to an analysis in AEI’s January Political Report, it isn't likely: Bush’s State of the Union addresses haven’t had any significant effect on his overall standing. Prior to his address in 2007, 36 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing. Following the address, 32 percent did.
Source: The Gallup Organization.
It's the Economy, Stupid
Americans are largely dissatisfied with the federal government’s stewardship of the economy. According to an NBCNews/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in late January, just three in ten Americans approve of the job being done by Congress and President Bush. When they were asked to name the issues that President Bush should focus on during his final year in office, “strengthening the economy” topped the list (37 percent), ahead of Iraq and terrorism (32 percent), “keeping American safe” (23 percent), and domestic issues such as education and health care (22 percent). In a separate question, 43 percent said they thought the Democratic Party would do a better job “dealing with the economy,” compared to 25 percent who said the Republicans would. Source: NBC News/Wall StreetJournal, January 2008.
The airline industry has been criticized for flight delays that are increasingly frequent-and frequently long. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters says such delays could cost the U.S. economy $15 billion a year. Even so, a recent Gallup poll finds that most Americans are satisfied with the airlines' performance. Of the roughly four in ten Americans who flew last year, 69 percent said they were satisfied with their flight's "on-time performance." Satisfaction with overall airline performance was even higher: 72 percent of respondents said they were satisfied, compared to 69 percent who said so in 2000. Frequent fliers (those who had flown more than three times in the past 12 months) were as satisfied as those who had not flown as often. When it came to specific aspects of air travel, 92 percent of participants reported satisfaction with the courtesy of flight attendants, and 88 percent said they were satisfied with the courtesy of check-in or gate attendants. The lowest rated aspect of air travel was the "comfort of seats," which only 47 percent of respondents found satisfactory.
Source: The Gallup Organization, December 2007.
Stress: Give it a Rest
According to a recent Gallup poll, four in ten Americans say they “frequently” experience stress in their daily lives, a percentage that has been remarkably consistent since 1994, when Gallup first started asking the question. Age and family situation tend to affect stress levels: by analyzing data from 2006 and 2007, Gallup found that 49 percent of respondents who had children younger than 18 experienced stress frequently; among the rest of the population, only 34 percent did. Some 45 percent of the younger people surveyed experienced stress frequently, compared to only 27 percent of people over the age of 55. Source: The Gallup Organization, December 2007.
My Vote Counts
According to a recent Gallup/USA Today poll, 90 percent of Americans believe it “makes a real difference who is elected president.” Most Americans are optimistic about their options in this year’s election: 83 percent indicated there was a “candidate running who would make a good president.”
Source: Gallup/USA Today, December 2007.