Sorry Trump, but Most Americans Agree: Life Has Improved Under Obama

A new Gallup poll finds that’s true for people across all racial groups.

Leigh Vogel/UPPA/ZUMA

Donald Trump may have risen to the top of the Republican Party with scaremongering tactics and the promise to “Make America Great Again,” but that doesn’t mean most Americans share the GOP nominee’s dystopian view that the country is in desperate shape. According to a new Gallup poll released this week that measures the well-being of Americans, most people across all racial and ethnic groups actually believe the opposite: They say their lives have largely improved under President Barack Obama.

“The percentage of US whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians who are thriving have all increased during the Obama era,” Gallup reported.

The poll asked participants to register whether they believed they were “thriving, struggling, or suffering” and found that 55.4 percent of Americans considered themselves to be “thriving”—the highest percentage recorded by Gallup since it started measuring this evaluation nine years ago.

Gallup’s results also show that contrary to Trump’s appeal to white voters that their lives have deteriorated in recent years, most white people, especially white Republicans, believe their lives have improved under Obama’s second term. The reverse is true for black people: They say their lives improved under the president’s first term but declined during his second one. The accompanying analysis explains that this could partly be the result of heightened racial tensions prompted by police shootings that have taken place across the country.

Nonetheless, the overall trend across racial groups shows that compared with when Obama took office in January 2008, the quality of life has only gotten better.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.