Originally Published: January 1, 2017 6:01 a.m.
The Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll claims we are mostly optimistic for a better year. Are we? I hope so. At least I hope our outlook improves. Maybe we can all stop looking at things with hate and suspicion.
It’s hard to not be disheartened when the country is mired in a nasty election, fighting unknown evil from other countries and fighting our own citizens in various kinds of violence.
Let’s take a look at the poll and see what they say:
SO HOW WAS 2016?
Americans weren’t thrilled with the year. Only 18 percent said things for the country got better, 33 percent said things got worse, and 47 percent said it was unchanged from 2015.
On a personal level, they were optimistic about 2017.
Fifty-five percent said they believe things will be better for them in the coming year than in the year that just concluded. That’s a 12-point improvement from last year’s poll.
Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say 2016 was worse for the country than 2015. And Republicans are especially likely to feel that 2017 will be even better for them personally.
Robert Greenstone, a New York commercial real estate broker, said the political discourse leading up to Republican Donald Trump’s election as president played havoc with people’s emotions.
“The amount of disinformation made people suspect of everything and everyone, even their neighbors,” he said.
U.S. ELECTION LEADS TOP NEWS EVENTS
The U.S. elections top Americans’ list of 10 top news events in 2016. Three-quarters called the presidential election and Trump’s victory very or extremely important.
Sixty-three percent ranked mass shootings and bombings in Orlando, Florida, and in Belgium, Turkey, Pakistan and France as personally important news stories of the year.
Fifty-one percent said they found news stories about the deaths of people at the hands of police officers, or news about ambush attacks on police in three states, to be among the year’s most important news events.
The AP-Times Square Alliance Poll of 1,007 adults was conducted online Dec. 9-11, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Whether or not these findings jibe with your feelings, let’s all try to start off the new year in a better mental place. Clear out the hate-filled election rants and move on. Let’s see what happens in our new President’s first year – together.