Background: Americans’ 38% level of satisfaction with the way the U.S. is being governed is on par with the 37% historical average since 2001. The September readings have been as low as 19% in 2011 after the U.S. credit rating was downgraded in response to a deal to raise the federal debt limit.
As would be expected, partisans’ satisfaction with national governance is directly linked to the president’s party, as it has been for the past 18 years. Two months before Donald Trump won the election in 2016 and Democrat Barack Obama was still president, 55% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents vs. 12% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they were satisfied with the way the U.S. was being governed.
By contrast, in each year of Trump’s presidency, Democrats’ satisfaction has been 10%, while Republicans’ satisfaction jumped 35 points in 2017 to 47%, and rose another 25 points in the past year to 72%. While it is unclear why Republicans’ satisfaction increased gradually, it could be a result of Trump successfully enacting key parts of his agenda.