In 2009, for a brief moment, U.S. "satisfaction" surged as the "Hope and Change" President entered that White House leaving many to believe that a new American utopia was upon them. But then, as people slowly realized that they still had to go to work and pay their mortgages and that Obama was just another politician with elegant words but no substance, "Hope" faded to "Hype" and "satisfaction" declined back to nearly all-time lows.
Now, as we sit here with less than 30 days left until election day, Gallup finds that satisfaction remains near all-time lows with only 28% of the population upbeat about the current path of their country. With so few people "satisfied" with their current predicament, it would seem ironic that Americans are poised to effectively extend the Obama administration for another 4 years.
As Gallup points out, with a brief exception in July when two black men were killed by police in Minnesota and Louisiana, only about one-fourth of the U.S. population has expressed "satisfaction" with the current direction of the country in 2016.
But, as Gallup notes, satisfaction was at similar levels back in 2012 when Obama easily won a second a term in the White House.
Hillary Clinton has said she is the only candidate who will continue Obama's policies, so her supporters might be worried that less than a third of Americans are satisfied with the country's direction near the end of Obama's second term. But a month before the 2012 election, in which Obama handily defeated Mitt Romney, the U.S. satisfaction level was 30%, similar to today's figure. Satisfaction did rise slightly to 33% immediately before the election, possibly because Americans approved of the way Obama handled the effects of Superstorm Sandy.
Heading into the Nov. 8 general election this year, 49% of Democrats, 24% of independents and 8% of Republicans are satisfied with the country's direction. Republican numbers are almost identical to four years ago -- when 7% were satisfied. Democrats (53%) and independents (29%) were slightly more likely to be satisfied in October 2012 than they are now.
And it looks as if Americans are set to extend Obama's reign into a 3rd term through the election of Hillary in less than 30 days.
So do Americans just enjoy being "dissatisfied" or are they eternally optimistic that the next establishment politician will somehow be different than the previous?