Going into the new year, the results of a new Gallup poll show Americans expect 2018 to be a year of foreign strife but are more optimistic about the economy.
Seventy-nine percent of Americans expect 2018 to be a troubled year with much international discord compared to just 19 percent that expect a peaceful year more or less free of international disputes.
Gallup Deputy Managing Editor Alyssa Davis said the pessimism about the chances for peace is partly related to the ongoing conflict with North Korea over its nuclear capabilities.
Davis also pointed to prominent terrorist attacks at home and abroad and discord with Russia about its possible interference in the 2016 election.
Meanwhile, the poll also found that a slight majority of Americans expect 2018 to be a year of economic prosperity.
Fifty-two percent of Americans expect a year of economic prosperity, while 47 percent anticipate a year of economic difficulty.
“Optimism about economic prosperity reflects signs that point to a strengthening economy, such as record-high stock prices, low unemployment and Americans’ increased confidence in the economy,” Davis said.
The survey found that Americans split evenly on whether U.S. power in the world will increase or decline next year, with 49 percent expecting an increase and a matching 49 percent expecting a decrease.
Gallup noted Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to expect peace, economic prosperity and increased U.S. power, reflecting GOP control of both the White House and Congress.
“In the context of Gallup’s trends, Americans’ expectations for the U.S. economy in 2018 are more optimistic than usual, while predictions for international peace and the United States’ power in the world are below average,” Davis said.
She added, “These findings mirror Americans’ evaluations of Trump’s handling of the economy, which are more positive than their views on his handling of foreign affairs and the situation with North Korea.”
The Gallup survey of 1,049 adults was conducted December 4th through 11th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.