Economic optimism for America’s middle class according to new poll

Economic optimism for America’s middle class according to new poll

- in Economy, Slider: English
Melrose Larry Green (L) and Juan Carlos (R) wave flags in support of newly-elected US President Donald Trump at Trump's vandalized Star on Hollywood Boulevard along the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California on November 9, 2016. / AFP / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Two-thirds of the public now says their living circumstances are getting better

Forget media tales of woe: Standard of living soars to ‘best of decade,’ says new Gallup poll

By Jennifer Harper

“Americans’ ratings of their standard of living are on pace to be the best in Gallup’s 10-year tracking history,” writes Jim Norman, a Gallup analyst who reveals that two-thirds of the public now says their living circumstances are getting better, 80 percent of the nation say they are “satisfied” with their current standard of living, and the pollster’s complex but revealing “well-being index” now stands at 54, a record high.

“This year’s rise in the overall index is driven by an increase in Americans’ outlook for their standard of living. The percentage of Americans saying their standard of living is getting better has risen from 62 percent in 2016 to 64 percent so far this year, with a corresponding drop in the percentage saying it is getting worse, from 22 percent to 19 percent. The strongly positive expectations Americans now have for their standard of living is a far cry from the situation in 2008, when as many thought their situation was getting worse as thought it was improving,” Mr. Norman said.

There’s a small but interesting partisan divide. In 2016, 56 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Democrats perceived that their standard of living was “getting better.” In 2017, 68 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats cite improvement. The findings are based on a Gallup tracking poll that has surveyed 578,600 U.S. adults in the past decade.


Health care issues were confusing during the olden days of Hillarycare and Obamacare. They are getting even more complex on President Trump’s watch. Sen. Bernard Sanders is not the only one unveiling an idea for the national health care challenge on Wednesday, which is essentially “Medicare for all,” with a really big price tag. Five Republican senators and one former Republican senator also will gather on Wednesday for a press conference. Sens. Lindsey GrahamBill CassidyDean HellerRon Johnson and Rick Santorum will have their say on what’s simply being billed as the “Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal to reform health care.”

See their big doings on C-SPAN at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Mr. Graham is also live-streaming the event on his personal YouTube channel, where he describes the proposal as “legislation which would block grant Obamacare funding to the states for health care.”


Trash talk and negative narratives continue. The news media continues to offer coverage that is biased against President Trump and his administration. Case in point: a wide-reaching study from the Media Research Center finds that 91 percent of the recent coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC has been hostile.

“Since January 20, Media Research Center analysts have reviewed every mention of President Trump and top administration officials on ABC’s ‘World News Tonight,’ the ‘CBS Evening News’ and ‘NBC Nightly News,’ including weekends. As of August 31, coverage of the administration has totaled nearly 74 hours (4,418 minutes) of airtime, or 39 percent of all evening news coverage,” write Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella, senior researchers for the conservative press watchdog.

“Analyzing the networks’ spin makes it clear that the goal of all of this heavy coverage is not to promote the President, but to punish him. In June, July and August, broadcast evening news coverage of Trump was 91 percent negative — worse than the astounding 89 percent negative spin we calculated during the first three months of the administration, usually a traditional honeymoon period for new presidents,” the study said.

They based their judgment on the tone and content of statements of on-camera “experts” billed by the three networks as nonpartisan, along with voters, reporters and correspondents. ABC, CBS and NBC treated Mr. Trump’s election as if it was a “national crisis,” the researchers noted.

“The networks’ aggression in covering Trump contrasts with their docile, often adoring coverage of President Obama. Both Presidents are, of course, highly controversial — the key difference is that Obama’s policies matched the liberal media’s preferences, while Trump’s agenda clearly clashes with the establishment media’s world view,” said Messrs. Noyes and Ciandella.


Buzz has been good, bad and curious about “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton’s 519-page book on the 2016 election. Headlines speak for themselves:

“‘What Happened’? They lost. With her memoir, Hillary Clinton joins a haunted club” (New York Times); “Who is ‘What Happened’ for? Maybe Hillary Clinton most of all” (National Public Radio); “Hillary Clinton’s unplugged book tour: Where was this person in 2016?” (USA Today); “Clinton shows she’s still out of touch at her own book signing” (New York Post), “Defiant Hillary to Dems: ‘I’m not going anywhere’” (The Daily Caller), “President Trump trashes Hillary Clinton’s book on Twitter the day it comes out” (New York Daily News), “Bernie Sanders scoffs at Clinton’s claim he stole her ideas” (Salon), “Hillary gets conquered hero’s welcome in Manhattan” (Politico), “Hillary Clinton: Deplorable book, deplorable person” (Washington Examiner), “Conservative media is salivating over Hillary Clinton’s new book” (Business Insider).

Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered a brief assessment of the new book at the daily briefing on Tuesday.

“I think it’s sad that after Hillary Clinton ran one of the most negative campaigns in history and lost, and the last chapter of her public life is going to be now defined by propping up book sales with false and reckless attacks. And I think that that’s a sad way for her to continue this work,” Mrs. Sanders told assembled reporters.


40 percent of Americans trust libraries or librarians as a source of information; 38 percent trust them somewhat, 8 percent “not much” and 13 percent “not at all.”

39 percent overall trust health care providers as a source; 44 percent trust them somewhat, 10 percent “not much” and 6 percent “not at all.”

24 percent overall trust family or friends as a source; 58 percent trust them somewhat, 12 percent not much and 6 percent not at all.

18 percent overall trust government sources; 43 percent trust them somewhat, 19 percent not much and 20 percent not at all.

17 percent overall trust national news organizations; 48 percent trust them somewhat, 18 percent not much and 16 percent not at all.

3 percent overall trust social media like Facebook as a source; 31 percent trust them somewhat, 37 percent not much and 28 percent not at all.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 3,015 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 29-Nov. 6, 2016, and released Monday.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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