- Just 18% said things got better for the country in 2016; 33% said things got worse; and 47% said nothing had changed since 2015.
- 55% believe things will be better for them in 2017–a 12-point improvement from 2016.
Bottom line: Despite all the hysteria and hypothetical scenarios of disastrous outcomes being bandied about on the airwaves, the Internet, and in print about when Mr. Trump moves into the White House, a majority of Americans are hopeful about the way forward in 2017.
As for what happened that didn’t particularly matter according to the poll, 50% indicated Muhammad Ali’s death, 43% said the approval of recreational marijuana use in 4 states, and 40% said Fidel Castro’s death. Take from that what you will.
What did affect respondents in some significant way? For 51% of them, it was news stories about those who’d died at the hands of police officers and/or about ambush attacks on police in three states.
Meanwhile, a recent national Pew survey of 8,000 police officers found that:
- “93 percent of officers say they’ve grown more concerned about their safety.
- 76 percent are more now reluctant to use force when necessary.
- 75 percent believe interactions between police and blacks have become more tense.
- 72 percent say they’re more reluctant to stop and question suspicious-looking people.
- 67 percent report being verbally abused.”
It’s the law of unintended consequences and worthy of attention.