The Sept. 11 attacks increased, rather than decreased, Americans’ expressed satisfaction with the way things are going in the country — one of the most intriguing public opinion shifts of 2001. Gallup’s December reading on satisfaction, at 70%, is the highest since February 1999. The October and November satisfaction ratings were 67% and 65%, respectively. This satisfaction rating averaged just 50% in nine readings in 2001 before Sept. 11.
The American public has evidenced resilience across a variety of other measures as well. About six in 10 Americans are “extremely” or “very” confident that the
American way of life will be preserved in the future.