U.S. satisfaction with security rises
Those three issues, along with the position of women in the nation and the acceptance of gays and lesbians, have the highest satisfaction ratings among 21 issues asked about. Americans are least satisfied with the nation's efforts to deal with poverty and homelessness.
These results, from Gallup's Mood of the Nation survey conducted Jan. 2-7, show that Americans' satisfaction with key national security and economic matters have improved the most from last year.
Satisfaction with security from terrorism is up 13 percentage points, and satisfaction with the nation's military strength and the economy is up 12 points for each.
While satisfaction in some areas has climbed, it has dropped in others. There have been declines of seven to eight points over the past year in three areas - the availability of affordable healthcare (-8), the role the U.S. plays in world affairs (-7) and the quality of the environment in the nation (-7).
Although it ranks near the top of the list this year, satisfaction with the position of women is down substantially from the 72% of Americans who said they were satisfied in 2008, the last time the question was asked.
This decline comes as Americans have seen increased attention on allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment of women.
Perhaps related to the shift from a Democratic to a Republican president, most of the changes in satisfaction reflect the issues perceived as strengths and weaknesses for each party.
Americans typically credit Republicans with doing a better job on national security and defense, while they rate Democrats better on handling the environment and healthcare. ■