Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans Say Things Will Be Better in 2011, But Not For Me

January 3, 2011 - 3:21 PM

Cash, money, dollars

New $20 currency notes roll off the presses at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. (AP File Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - A majority of Americans believe 2011 will be a better overall year than 2010 and that the U.S. economy will do better this year than it did last year, according to a newly released Gallup poll. Yet, at the same time, the poll shows that a majority of Americans does not believe their personal financial situation will get any better in the coming year.

In fact, according to Gallup, 55 percent of Americans believe their personal financial situation will stay the same in the coming year--or get worse.

Nor are Americans optimistic that their country will be governed better in 2011 than it was in 2010, according to the poll.

In polling done Dec. 10-12, Gallup asked 1,019 American adults: “Overall, do you think the year 2011 will be a lot better, a little better, the same, a little worse, or a lot worse than 2010?”

A combined 58 percent said they thought that 2011 would be an overall better year than 2010, with 13 percent saying it would be a lot better, 45 percent saying it would be a little better. Another 21 percent, meanwhile, said 2011 would be the same as 2010, while 14 percent said it would be a little worse and 6 percent saying it would be a lot worse.

Then Gallup asked: “Do you think the year will 2011 will be a lot better, a little better, the same, a little worse, or a lot worse in terms of the U.S. economy.”

A majority of Americans were optimistic about the overall economy just as they were optimistic about the overall year. A combined 52 percent said they thought 2011 would be a better year than 2010 for the U.S. economy, with 7 percent saying it would be a lot better and 45 percent saying it would be a little better. Another 21 percent, meanwhile, said the U.S. economy would be about the same, while 16 percent said it would be a little worse and 9 percent said it would be a lot worse.

Despite the modest majority that said the U.S. economy would do better in 2011, however, most Americans do not believe their personal financial situation will be better this year than last.

Fifty-five percent said their personal financial situation would be the same or worse in 2011, with 39 percent saying it would be the same, 11 percent saying it would be a little worse and 5 percent saying it would be a lot worse.

Similarly, 56 percent said the way the U.S. is governed in 2011 will be the same or worse than it was governed in 2010, with 29 percent saying it would be the same, 16 percent saying it would be a little worse and 11 percent saying it would be a lot worse.

Democrats are far more likely than Republican, according to the Gallup poll, to think that 2011 will be an overall better year than 2010, but there is about the same level of skepticism among members of both parties on the question of whether America will be better governed this year than it was last year.

Seventy-one percent of Democrats said they think that “overall” 2011 will better than 2010, while 14 percent of Democrats think it will be the same and 13 percent think it will be worse. Only 48 percent of Republicans, meanwhile, think that 2011 will be an overall better year than 2010, while 29 percent think it will be the same and 23 percent think it will be worse.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans also say they think the U.S. will be governed better in 2011 than it was in 2010, with 28 percent of Republican saying it will be governed the same and 22 percent saying it will be worse.

Similarly, 45 percent of Democrats say they think the U.S. will be governed better in 2011 than it 2010, with 23 percent saying it will be governed the same, and 28 percent saying it will be governed worse.