Americans' Satisfaction With U.S. Gov't Drops to New LowDemocrats remain most likely to be satisfied, but much less so than in September
by Joy Wilke
This article is part of an ongoing series analyzing how the government shutdown and the debate over raising the debt ceiling are affecting Americans' views of government, government leaders, political parties, the economy, and the country in general.
PRINCETON, NJ -- Eighteen percent of Americans are satisfied with the way the nation is being governed, down 14 percentage points from the 32% recorded last month before the partial government shutdown began. This is the lowest government satisfaction rating in Gallup's history of asking the question dating back to 1971.
The previous low of 19% was recorded in September 2011, just after Washington lawmakers reached a last-minute agreement that forestalled a government default. More broadly, less than half of Americans have been satisfied with the government since 2004.
These most recent data are based on an Oct. 3-6 Gallup poll, and are the latest in a series of reports underscoring the negative impact the shutdown is having on Americans' attitudes toward their government.
Prior to 2011, the lowest level of satisfaction with the way the nation is being governed was 26% recorded in September 1973 -- in the middle of the Watergate scandal.
Democrats' Satisfaction Sinks Sharply Amid Government Shutdown
Democrats are more likely to be satisfied with the way the nation is being governed (28%) than are Republicans (8%) or independents (15%). This partisan difference was even greater last month, when 54% of Democrats were satisfied, compared with 11% of Republicans. Thus, Democrats' higher satisfaction with government has apparently been significantly eroded by the current events in Washington, while Republicans have maintained their already low satisfaction levels.