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Trump Optimism Dropped Significantly in First Half of 2017


The Fishlinger Optimism Index™, a breakthrough measurement of public opinion centered on Americans’ optimism about the future from the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Mount Saint Vincent, indicates that optimism about President Donald Trump dropped sharply in the first half of 2017.

In contrast, not long after the 2016 presidential election last December, satisfaction with President Barack Obama and optimism about then newly-elected president Trump were quite close: 37 and 40 percent, respectively. Optimism began to fall after Trump’s inauguration.

Graphic titled: "Satisfaction Obama vs. Optimism Trump"

In the second quarter, the Fishlinger Optimism Index™ measured satisfaction and optimism regarding Trump’s presidency. The new president’s satisfaction levels significantly trailed contentment with former president Obama: low 30s versus low 40s. Since his embroilment in congressional and special counsel investigations, Trump’s satisfaction and optimism levels have merged in the low 30s—10 points lower than when he was elected at the end of 2016.

Graphic titled: "Satisfaction Obama vs. Optimism Trump"

Survey Methodology
The Fishlinger Center conducts online national surveys focusing on political issues in the United States. The fieldwork for the polls is conducted using a blended national panel from Survey Sampling Inc. Interviews were conducted November 30 through December 15, 2016 and January 3 through June 30, 2017. With 1,000 adults, there is a credibility interval of plus or minus four percentage points.  The credibility interval is larger for subgroups and for differences between polls.

In addition to credibility interval, the polls are subject to other potential sources of error including, but not limited to coverage and measurement error. Data were rim weighted to match the national population on age, sex, Hispanic origin, and race. Question wording and topline results are available at

About the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy
The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research opened in February 2015 at the University of Mount Saint Vincent.  The Center conducts in depth studies of public opinion on key public policy concerns through independent and objective research.

By providing a forum for discourse that can stimulate intelligent dialog about issues that deeply affect all Americans, the Center illustrates and enhances the relationship between the work of the College and the common good.

James F. Donius, Ph.D., director of the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Mount Saint Vincent, is available to speak to members of the press about the survey, the Fishlinger Optimism Index™, and the Center. To arrange an interview, or for more information about the study, please contact Public Relations at

About the University of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the University of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.