(CNSNews.com) - From a new Gallup survey: "Forty-one percent of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., a level not seen in nearly 15 years."
Gallup noted that the last time 40 percent or more of Americans were satisfied, in 2005, another Republican was president -- George W. Bush.
According to Gallup:
The higher level of satisfaction measured in the Jan. 2-15 Gallup poll comes at a time when Americans' evaluations of the U.S. economy are the best they have been in nearly two decades, perhaps because of continued low unemployment and record stock values.
Americans are typically more satisfied with the state of the nation when their political party affiliation matches that of the sitting president. Consistent with this pattern, 72% of Republicans are currently satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., compared with 14% of Democrats. Thirty-seven percent of independents are satisfied.
The five-percentage-point increase in overall satisfaction this month is primarily attributable to higher ratings among Republicans. Since last month, there has been a 14-point increase in Republicans' satisfaction.
Meanwhile, the percentage of independents who are satisfied is unchanged since December, and Democrats show a statistically nonsignificant two-point increase.
Since Gallup began measuring national satisfaction in 1979, 37% of Americans, on average, have been satisfied, meaning the current figure is just above the historical average. The highest satisfaction level Gallup has measured was 71% in February 1999.
Gallup concludes, "One reason satisfaction readings have been lower in recent years is that those who identify with the party that does not occupy the White House have been extremely reluctant to say they are satisfied with how things are going in the country."
Political polarization, in other words.
Poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 2-15 with a random sample of 1,014 adults 18 and older living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.