The presidency personally affects mood of U.S. population

February 15, 2018

About half of Americans (52%) say “the person who is serving as president” (regardless of whom that happens to be) affects their overall happiness, either “a fair amount” (30%) or “a great deal” (22%), based on findings of a recent Gallup poll of 809 adults nationwide.

At least two-thirds of respondents also believe that the presidency has a major effect on their fundamental attitudes about the nation as a whole and; on a personal level, their standard of living.

On only one aspect—their relationships with other people—do a majority (57%) say that they are affected only a little (24%) or not at all (33%).

More than four in 10 apply the strongest descriptor—a great deal—in describing the effect that the president has on their optimism about the nation’s future (45%). In fact, 40% say their confidence in the U.S. economy is affected a great deal, and 37% say the presidency greatly affects their satisfaction with the way things are going in the country.

On aspects of their personal lives, 35% say their confidence in maintaining or improving their standard of living is affected a great deal.

The presidency also has a relatively strong effect on Americans’ engagement with public affairs. Forty-five percent say the person serving as president affects their interest in current events a great deal; while 23% say a fair amount; 21%, only a little;and 10%, not at all.

There are few significant differences among major demographic groups — gender, education, political party affiliation — regarding people’s self-reports of the presidency’s effects. But there are differences by income and by attitudes about Trump in particular.
Looking at our current president, although Americans on both sides of the political aisle may have strong opinions of Trump, those who approve of the job he is doing are more likely than those who disapprove to say that the presidency affects them.
The largest gap between the two groups is related to confidence in the economy: 54% of those who approve versus 33% of those who disapprove say the presidency greatly affects that aspect of their lives.

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