New numbers from Gallup show the percentage of Americans who say they’re “satisfied” with the country’s current direction has dropped to just 20 percent. It marks a slight decrease over the past several months when the number hovered between 24 and 26 percent.
Overall, Democrats are more satisfied than independents or Republicans. However, Gallup found a notable decrease among Dems since May: the number who said they are satisfied with the country’s direction declined from 43 percent to 34 percent.
Just how consequential is the number for the president’s reelection? There was some debate over that question at one of C&E’s Shop Talk lunches earlier this year which featured pollsters Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies and Matt Hogan of Anzalone Liszt Research.
When it comes to presidential election years, Bolger argued that any indicator of “right direction/wrong track” is particularly consequential once it drops below 25 percent. Here’s the back and forth between Hogan and Bolger:
Hogan: We’ve actually stopped asking right direction/wrong track in our polls. You’re getting about 80 percent wrong track. At this point it’s not even useful anymore.
Bolger: I think you’re wrong. It’s very useful. You look at the times right direction has been below 25 percent—1980, 1992, 2006 and 2008. This is the fifth time and it’s the most sustained negative mood in modern American history. Look at 2000 and 2004—you had 45-50 right direction/wrong track. Those were 50-50 elections.