About half say their overall happiness is affected at least a fair amount
Solid majorities say their views about the nation are affected
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- About half of Americans (52%) say "the person
who is serving as president" (regardless of whom that happens to
be) affects their overall happiness a fair amount (30%) or a great deal (22%).
Americans also say the presidency has a major effect on their fundamental
attitudes about the nation as a whole and, on a personal level, their
standard of living. At least two-thirds say the presidency affects them
at least a fair amount on each of these aspects of their lives. On only
one aspect -- their relationships with other people -- do a majority (57%)
say they are affected only a little (24%) or not at all (33%).
How Presidency Affects Seven Aspects of Americans' Lives
Thinking generally, and regardless of who happens to be president, how
much does the person serving as president affect the following aspects
of your life?
Only a little
Not at all
Your interest in current events
Your optimism about the future of the U.S.
Your confidence in the U.S. economy
Your satisfaction with the way things are going in the country
Your confidence that you can maintain or improve your standard of living
Your relationships with other people
Your overall happiness
GALLUP, Jan. 23-28, 2018
These results are based on a Jan. 23-28 Gallup poll asking Americans how
much "the person who is serving as president" affects seven
different aspects of their lives. The question is not specific to President
Donald Trump but instead states, "regardless of who happens to be
More than four in 10 apply the strongest term -- a "great deal"
-- in describing the effect that the president has on their optimism about
the nation's future (45%). Forty percent say their confidence in the
U.S. economy is affected a great deal, and 37% say the presidency greatly
affects their satisfaction with the way things are going in the country.
Sixty-two percent say at least one of these three attitudes about the
nation is affected a great deal.
On aspects of their personal lives, 35% say their confidence in maintaining
or improving their standard of living is affected a great deal. Additionally,
23% say the presidency greatly affects their relationships with other
people, and 22% say the same about their overall happiness. About half
of Americans (52%) say the presidency affects them a great deal in at
least one of these areas of their personal lives.
The presidency also has a relatively strong effect on Americans' engagement
with public affairs. Forty-five percent say the person serving as president
affects their interest in current events a great deal, while 23% say a
fair amount, 21% only a little and 10% not at all.
Few Major Differences Emerge Among Different Groups of Americans
There are few significant differences among major demographic groups --
gender, education, political party affiliation -- regarding people's
self-reports of the presidency's effects. But there are differences
by income and by attitudes about Trump in particular.
Seventy percent of those with annual household incomes of $60,000 or more
say that at least one of their views of the nation is affected a great
deal by the presidency, compared with 55% of those with incomes below
$60,000. On all three of these aspects -- optimism about the future of
the U.S., satisfaction with the way things are going in the country and
confidence in the economy -- those with the higher incomes are more likely
to say they are affected a great deal.
Although Americans on both sides of the political aisle may have strong
opinions of Trump, those who approve of the job he is doing are more likely
than those who disapprove to say that the presidency affects them. Seventy-one
percent of those who approve say at least one of their views of the nation
is affected a great deal, compared with a significantly lower 58% among
those who disapprove. The largest gap between the two groups is on confidence
in the economy -- 54% of those who approve versus 33% of those who disapprove
say the presidency greatly affects that aspect of their lives.
Sixty-one percent of those approving of Trump's job as president say
at least one aspect of their personal lives is affected a great deal,
compared with 47% of those who disapprove. Among those who approve, 46%
say the presidency greatly affects their confidence in their standard
of living, compared with 28% of those who disapprove.
Americans today live in a culture saturated with politics, from political
references written into TV series and entertainment awards ceremonies
to corporations taking political stands to scientific studies and educational
programs becoming targets of partisan attacks.
Add to the mix a president who was already a controversial national celebrity
before he entered politics and who took office with four in 10 Americans
holding "very unfavorable" views of him. The result: In the
immediate aftermath of the election, Americans were
more stressed and
less productive and were
worrying more than they had been previously.
How closely this is tied to the impact that Americans believe the presidency
has on their lives is not clear. Without trends, it is impossible to know
if these figures are higher or lower than during past administrations.
What is clear: The vast majority say the presidency has at least a fair
amount of effect on their lives, and more than half say it has a great
deal of effect.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted
Jan. 23-28, 2018, on the Gallup U.S. Poll, with a random sample of 809
adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District
of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults,
the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95%
confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed
design effects for weighting.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 70% cellphone
respondents and 30% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas
by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are
selected using random-digit-dial methods.