Dissatisfaction With the Workings of American Democracy Hits Record Low

U.S. adults are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in the country, according to a Gallup survey released on January 5. 

Only 28% of respondents expressed satisfaction with democracy. This is down from the prior low of 35% after the insurrection on January 6, 2021, when a mob tried to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Along party lines, Republicans are the least satisfied (17%) with the state of democracy, while Democrats (38%) are most satisfied. About a quarter of Independents (27%) say they are satisfied. This is down from 2021, when 47% of Democrats, 21% of Republicans and 36% of Independents expressed satisfaction with democracy.

The survey also found that educational attainment informs the respondent’s sense of satisfaction: postgraduate (38%), college graduate only (30%), some college (29%), high school graduate or less (21%). All subgroup satisfaction is down since 2021, with Americans who are high school graduates or less down 15 percentage points (36% in 2021 to 21% in 2023).

“Americans are preparing to elect the next president at a time when they are less happy about the state of U.S. democracy than at any point in at least 40 years,” Jeffrey M. Jones, senior editor,” wrote. “The 2024 election is expected to match a 

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