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U.S. daily worry easing, but still up since Trump

Staff Writer | August 5, 2017
After rising following Donald Trump's election and inauguration, the percentage of Americans who frequently worry has receded, although it has not yet returned to its pre-election level.
daily worry
America   The 4.1-percentage-point increase
On average, over the past five months, 31.7% of Americans reported experiencing worry "a lot of the day yesterday."

This was down from 33.3% during Trump's first month in office, but still above the 29.2% recorded the month before the Nov. 7 election.

The 4.1-percentage-point increase in Americans experiencing significant worry on any given day occurred gradually between the election and the month following the inauguration. It was the largest increase in worry that Gallup and Sharecare have recorded over a four-month period since the Great Recession in 2008, and far larger than 0.9-point rise in worry measured after Barack Obama was elected in 2008.

While down since Trump's first month in office, the percentage worried has receded to the level found during the pre-inaugural period, from Jan. 2-19, but is still 2.5 points higher than before Trump was elected.

The large sample sizes involved in these averages means that even one-point differences in the percentage worried are statistically significant. The most recent results are based on nearly 75,000 interviews with U.S. adults from Feb. 17-July 17, 2017, as part of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.

Gallup and Sharecare ask U.S. adults, "Did you experience worry a lot of the day yesterday?" The survey does not prime respondents to think about worry in political terms, because it does not contain political questions or mention the election or Trump specifically.

Gallup and Sharecare analyzed Americans' daily reports of worry during five periods: the month leading up to the Nov. 8 election (Oct. 1-Nov. 7), the month following the election (Nov. 9-30), before the inauguration (Jan. 2-19), the month after the inauguration (Jan. 21-Feb. 16), and months two through six of Trump's presidency (Feb. 17-July 17).

After the Nov. 8 election, changes in worry followed expected partisan patterns. Democrats' worry spiked, independents' stayed about the same and Republicans' worry dropped.

Following Trump's inauguration, Democrats' worry rose sharply, while independents' edged up slightly and Republicans' stayed about the same.

Over the next five months, worry declined among all party groups - back to where it was when Trump was inaugurated- with the sharpest drop among Democrats.

The percentage of Democrats worried is 4.2 points higher now than before the election, while the percentage of independents worried is 2.2 points higher. Republicans are no more worried now than they were before the election.