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Will the US Be Better Off in Four Years?

The rate of optimism in America has barely broken 50 percent since 1993; but this month hopefulness has spiked. A new Gallup poll shows that 72 percent of Americans think the country will be better off in four years from now, while only 20 percent think it will be worse off after Barack Obama's first term.

The optimism surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration stands out more when compared to that seen at the beginning of other presidential terms. When President Bush was inaugurated in 2005, 53 percent of the country said it would be better off by 2009. In 2001, 46 percent thought we would be better off by 2005; and in 1992, 51 percent said we would be better off after Clinton's first term.

While I'm pretty impressed that 72 percent have faith that things will get better, perhaps it just means many can't imagine a situation worse than the present.

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