Politics, foreign conflicts and shootings at home took a toll on Americans in 2016, but most of them are entering 2017 with a more optimistic outlook. According to a new poll, the majority of people believe things are going to get better for the country next year.
Take a look at some of the results from the Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll:
SO HOW WAS 2016?
Americans weren’t thrilled with the year. Only 18% said things for the country got better, 33% said things got worse, and 47% said it was unchanged from 2015.
55% 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.
Americans interviewed about the poll’s results expressed some of that optimism.
“I’m hoping 2017 will be better,” added Elizabeth Flynn, 62, an elementary schoolteacher from Peabody, Massachusetts. “You’ve got to be optimistic, and I’m going to try.”
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.
“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.
63% percent ranked mass shootings and bombings in Orlando, Florida, and in Belgium, Turkey, Pakistan and France as personally important news stories of the year.
51% 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.
Fourth on the list are 43% who described the spread of the Zika virus as important.
The three events described by the largest percentages of Americans as not too important included the death of Muhammad Ali (50%), approval of recreational marijuana use in four states (43%), and the death of Fidel Castro (40%).
The poll is a cooperative effort between AP and the organizers of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration, the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment. The Alliance is a nonprofit group that seeks to promote Times Square, and Countdown Entertainment represents the owners of One Times Square and the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.