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Gallup Poll Finds 52% of Public Satisfied With State of AffairsU.S.

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Special to The Times

President Reagan begins his second term in office with the public’s mood far more upbeat than it was when he began his first term in January, 1981, according to the latest Gallup Poll.

Fifty-two percent of Americans currently express satisfaction with “the way things are going in the nation,” three times the 17% who did so four years ago and higher than at any time since the measurement was started in 1979.

The low point in the six-year trend was recorded in August, 1979, during President Jimmy Carter’s Administration, when only 12% of survey respondents expressed satisfaction with the national status quo.

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Other findings from the latest survey suggest that the current high level of optimism may be leveling out, with 48% expecting to be satisfied one year from now.

Although satisfaction with the national state of affairs has grown among all population groups during President Reagan’s tenure, there are marked differences between certain groups.

For example, only 20% of blacks, contrasted with 56% of whites, say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country today. Among persons whose family income is less than $10,000 a year, only 34% express satisfaction with the direction the nation is taking, contrasted with 59% of those whose income is $10,000 or more.

A slightly lower proportion of women (48%) than men (55%) express satisfaction. As might be expected, the findings divide sharply along political lines, with a far higher proportion of Republicans (74%) than Democrats (34%) saying they are satisfied with the way things are going.

The latest survey also indicates that 59% of the public is satisfied with the way democracy is working in the United States, and 54% express satisfaction with the way the nation is governed.

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