Poll: Americans ‘Broadly Dissatisfied’ in This Election Year

By Susan Jones | January 23, 2012 | 11:38 AM EST

(CNSNews.com) - At the start of this election year, a new Gallup Polls finds Americans are "broadly dissatisfied" on a number of important issues -- including the economy, the size and power of the federal government, and the nation's moral and ethical climate.

The poll shows 83 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the state of the economy; 69 percent are unhappy about big government; and 68 percent don't like the nation's moral and ethical climate. Gallup says American's confidence in the nation's moral and ethical climate has fallen to a new low in January 2012.

The poll released on Monday measures Americans' level of satisfaction (and dissatisfaction) on 24 issues between Jan. 5-8, 2012. It then compares those numbers with a similar poll conducted in January 2008 -- ten months before Obama was elected president.

In addition to the three issues mentioned above, the poll found a majority (51 percent or more) of Americans are dissatisfied on eleven other specific issues, including immigration (64% dissatisfied), anti-poverty efforts (70% dissatisfied), the role the U.S. plays in foreign affairs (53% dissatisfied), acceptance of homosexuality (51% dissatisfied), quality of public education (61% dissatisfied), how government works (64% dissatisfied), the nation's energy policies (51% dissatisfied), Social Security and Medicare (60% dissatisfied), amount paid in federal taxes (61%), the availability of affordable health care (65%), and the size and influence of American corporations (64%).

On the other hand, a majority of Americans were satisfied in seven areas: the overall quality of life (76% satisfied), anti-terrorism efforts (72 percent satisfied), the nation's military strength and preparedness (71 percent satisfied), the influence of organized religion (56% satisfied), the opportunity to get ahead through hard work (53% satisfied), state of race relations (51% satisfied), quality of the environment (51% satisfied).

Half of Americans (50%) were satisfied with the nation's gun laws and with crime control policies.

And on the nation's abortion policies, more people were dissatisfied (46%) than satisfied (39%). The satisfaction number in this area has dropped: Four years ago, 43 percent of Americans were satisfied with U.S. abortion policies.

Because Gallup did not poll on all 24 of these issues from 2009-2011, the pollster notes it is not possible to say whether the recent declines in satisfaction levels occurred mainly in the last year of George W. Bush's administration or since Obama took office.

"Nevertheless, it is clear that the national mood at the beginning of this presidential election year is quite different from the mood at the start of the last one," the polling organization says.

Results for the Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 5-8, 2011, with a random sample of 1,011 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.