If you listen to Trump speak for just five minutes, your inclination might be to climb back into bed and burrow deep inside your covers, not because Trump is a raving lunatic who could be just months away from being our Commander in Chief (although, yes, that is an acceptable reason). No, it’s because the America under Obama that Trump describes is an apocalyptic hellscape for which Trump is the only cure. Well, you can climb out from under your covers. Trump is wrong.
Americans love the America they see under President Obama – at least according to the latest Gallup survey.
Over the last nine years, Gallup has been tracking the number of people who feel they are “thriving.” That number is up (nearly four percent), rather than down, as Trump would have you believe, since Obama took office. Now, more than half the nation, 55.4 percent, believe their lives are just great. That’s the highest that number has been since Gallup started recording it.
Now, before you react, “meh, it’s barely over half the people,” the ratings are done on a scale of 0 – 10. Gallup only considers the people answering that their current lives score above a seven, combined with an optimism that says their lives will be even better in five years, as thriving. In other words, if you start adding the people that “only” rated their lives a six, you’d see that far more Americans are generally happy with Obama’s America than are unhappy.
There is one serious caveat and Trump is right, to a point. African-Americans are not as happy with their lives as any other demographic. Still, things are not anywhere near as bad as Trump would have us believe.
The percentages of U.S. whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians who are thriving have all increased during the Obama era, although not uniformly. Blacks’ life evaluations improved by nearly 13 points between 2008 and 2010, more than any other group. By 2010, blacks’ life evaluations were second only to those of Asians. Some of the increase among blacks — particularly the seven-point increase that occurred between 2008 and 2009 — could be explained by Obama coming into office, which may have made blacks feel more optimistic about their current and future lives even if his being in office hadn’t yet had any tangible effect on their lives.
However, blacks’ life evaluations have waned in Obama’s second term, averaging below 54% each year since 2013 and now registering below that of whites and Hispanics. These results dovetail with blacks’ collective sentiment that Obama has not done enough to improve black Americans’ standard of living.
Every other demographic has made more noticeable gains since Obama took office. Both white people and Hispanics score their lives as thriving 55.7 percent of the time. Asians are even more optimistic at 60 percent.
Hopefully, come election day (in just two months, yikes), Americans will send a strong message to Donald Trump – they love America just the way it is. President Obama knows we’re already a great nation and so do most Americans.