MOOD OF THE NA­TION ON FIERCE UP­SWING

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

De­spite all the hand-wring­ing in some po­lit­i­cal sec­tors, the na­tion is feel­ing pretty good about 2017 — now a mere 96 hours off, give or take a few min­utes.

Ras­mussen Re­ports of­fers this handy sum­ma­tion of how things are shak­ing out, based on their own re­cent polls: “Sixty-one per­cent be­lieve Amer­i­can so­ci­ety is fair and de­cent, the high­est level of con­fi­dence in three-and-a-half years. Amer­i­cans also are more op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture than they have been in over four years,” the poll­ster noted.

A new Associated Press poll finds that 55 per­cent of Amer­i­cans be­lieve things will be bet­ter for them in the com­ing year — up 12 per­cent­age points in the last year, with Repub­li­cans “es­pe­cially likely” to feel such op­ti­mism, the poll said.

And yes, Amer­i­cans feel hap­pier about their pock­et­books. A CNBC eco­nomic sur­vey cov­er­ing the fourth quar­ter of the year found that 42 per­cent of Amer­i­cans be­lieve the econ­omy will get bet­ter in the next year, an “un­prece­dented jump” of 17 points fol­low­ing the elec­tion, and the high­est level since Pres­i­dent Obama won the White House in 2008.

Gallup, mean­while, finds re­li­gion is still a fac­tor: Three-fourths of the U.S. iden­tify as Chris­tians; 2 per­cent are Jewish, 2 per­cent Mor­mon, just un­der 1 per­cent are Mus­lim, and 2.5 per­cent say they prac­tice an­other “non-Chris­tian re­li­gion,” while 18 per­cent are ag­nos­tic or athe­ist. Amid the dif­fer­ences, Gallup also found that 53 per­cent of Amer­i­cans over­all say re­li­gion re­mains “very im­por­tant” in their lives.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amer­i­cans are feel­ing op­ti­mistic about the start of Donad Trump’s pres­i­dency and its ef­fects on their pock­et­books, ac­cord­ing to a poll.

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