Don't Worry, Be Happy
Yet, we are mostly dissatisfied with the "direction of the country."
Americans experience their personal lives directly while they experience what is happening in the rest of the country indirectly, usually through the filter of the media.
Could the discrepancy be OUR fault?
UPDATE: Meanwhile, Irwin Stelzer reports similar findings about the U.S. economy:
"Only 36 percent of us approve of our president, and fewer still (18 percent) approve of our Congress. We say our confidence has been shattered, and three out of four think our country is “on the wrong track.” So we tell pollsters, as we slink into the new year.
"Surprise: The economy added more than 1 million new jobs last year. It grew at an annual rate of between 3 percent and 4 percent. Share prices rose by over 5 percent, with tech shares up by double digits, these gains being recorded in weeks in which the financial markets are said to be in turmoil."