Confession time: I love polls. I have Gallup.com bookmarked, and I frequently visit it because I am, a) a sucker for finding out what people think, and b) a sucker for the ways in which statistics can be manipulated to LIE. Gallup offers me both of those things.
But anyway, in case you were tired of hearing about the latest news from Iowa (Romney's ahead again? Santorum actually has numbers now? That shit cray-cray.), here's what I've learned from obsessively trawling Gallup polls, with a specific focus on my second-favorite of all rages, populist rage. (My first favorite is blind rage.)
Congress is ringing in the new year at a stunningly low approval rating of 11%, the lowest since Gallup started asking people in 1974. This puts their yearly average at 17%, also the lowest in Gallup history. Apparently, more and more people are taking a long, hard look at Congress and asking "What would you say you do here?"
Overall satisfaction with America, (or as I like to call it, the "Fuck yeah rating") is sitting at 17% for 2011, the second-lowest since 15% in 2008. 1986, 1998, and 2000 all saw satisfaction as high as 60%, thanks to Tom Waits' Rain Dogs, Saving Private Ryan, and Eliån Gonzalez, respectively.
But it's not all bad.
Despite the best efforts of the various Occupy branches, fewer Americans are seeing the country in terms of the hilariously reductive terms of "haves" and "have-nots:" 58% don't see their country this way, as opposed to 2008, where opinion was split at 49% either way.
If they had to choose, 58% apparently choose to identify as the "haves:" that figure reached its peak in the late '90s, when you could just throw anything onto the internet and fall into a big pile of money (as is my understanding).
So even though people are pissed off about how the way the "country's going" and the job Congress is doing, they're still happier about their own prospects than they were three years ago. And isn't that what it's all about? Placating the masses? Actually, that figure is probably more representative of your particular worldview: things are (God I hope I'm not jinxing this) supposed to get better next year, unless that's just what they want you to think, sheeple!