It's still the economy stupid
Bottom Line: The brilliant and seemingly timeless line concocted by James Carville and articulated by Bill Clinton during the 1992 election. A lot's changed in 26 years but the economy is still, for most Americans, what's most important. In political polling a lot of attention is often paid towards the issues that we want to be addressed – in other words the negatives we perceive. Much less time is spent investigating what we think is going well. Gallup recently wrapped up our view of the positives and here's what that looked like.
These are the top five responses to the question of "What's going well"?
#5: Government leadership
#4: Education, less war, lower crime, level of freedom
#2: Social issues, Civic participation in politics
It's an interesting mix that of course includes a dose of negativity with the 3rd most common answer being nothing but for perspective only 12% answered that way. The economy was not only the most common answer for what's going right, at 37%, it was 20% higher than the 2nd most common response. Part of what I thought was interesting is how many different aspects of life are perceived to be going well despite much of what is depicted in the news from day to day. For example, how often do you hear that many Americans are happy with civic engagement and gains in various social issues? How often do you hear about people who're happy with less crime and war? And I'm rather certain that you're not finding positive views of our government leadership.
What this really paints is a picture of the average American finding the positives in their lives rather than simply dwelling in the negatives. Now, if only the news media spent a little more time painting the complete picture.