Better Off Than 8 Years Ago? Don’t Even Ask

Thursday, January 08, 2009
Bush Approval Ratings (Pew Research)

While running for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan asked, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Most Americans answered: No, and Reagan was elected one week later. As the era of George W. Bush draws to a close, the answer to a similar question is so obvious it’s almost not worth asking. Still, Pew Research did just that. The results?

·        Before Bush, 55% of Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in the country; after Bush, the number dropped to 13%
·        Before Bush, 46% described U.S. economic conditions as good or excellent; after Bush—7%
·        Before Bush, 52% of Americans rated their personal finances as excellent or good; after Bush, the figure is down to 38%
·        When Bill Clinton left office, 61% of Americans approved of the job he had done; only 24% approve of Bush’s performance
·        And it’s not just President Bush who has discouraged Americans: in 2000, 56% approved of the job Congress was doing; now Congress’ approval rating has plummeted to 19%.
States of the Union Before and After Bush (by Jodie T. Allen, Pew Research Center)


Leave a comment