- The Washington Times - Monday, February 3, 2020

As President Trump gives his annual State of the Union address, Americans in general continue to rejoice over the economy, job creation and an improved U.S. presence in the global trade and national security arenas. Mr. Trump also has a very reassuring agenda.

“In this State of the Union, the president is calling for an end to resistance and retribution politics, and calling for cooperation and compromise. He really wants to unify the nation as its commander-in-chief and its president — the leader of the nation, not the leader of a political party,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway tells Fox News.

And as the election year picks up speed, a big majority of Republicans still believe in the “Trump Train” — the ebullient symbol of can-do spirit and practical determination that has become a hallmark of the Trump administration despite endless pushback from Democrats and the mostly hostile news media.

But word is getting out. Politico writer Ryan Lizza recently cited the “unexpected joy” he witnessed at a Trump Keep America Great rally in Iowa. Maybe that joy is spreading. A new Gallup poll now reveals that 84% of Americans are satisfied with the quality of life in America, up 4 percentage points since Mr. Trump took office. Another 68% are happy about the state of the nation’s economy — up 22 percentage points since 2017.

That’s says a little something about the state of the union.



The Gallup poll in question reviews 30 different aspects of American life; 15 of them have improved ratings since Mr. Trump took office. But there could also be issues for the president to add to his to-do list.

“The State of the Union depends on one’s political party,” writes Gallup analyst Lydia Saad, who notes that Mr. Trump’s “upbeat view” of the economy, economic opportunity, military strength and quality of life will resonate with all Americans.

“Gallup records double-digit increases in public satisfaction with the nation’s economy, security from terrorism, military strength and the state of race relations. Satisfaction is also up by between six and nine points on crime, the position of blacks and other racial minorities, the distribution of income and wealth, and the opportunity for a person to get ahead through hard work,” Ms. Saad writes.

“Over the same period, Americans have grown slightly less satisfied on three issues: abortion (down 7 points), the level of immigration (-6) and the environment (-6),” she notes. See more Gallup numbers in the Poll du jour at column’s end.

AND ABOUT THE ‘SOTU’ MEDIA

New organizations eagerly await the State of the Union address, which is dramatically wedged between the Iowa caucuses on Monday and a Senate vote on President Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday. Fox Business Network analyst Charles Payne predicts the president will be comfortable in his “presidential demeanor” and deliver a positive, unifying message — done in the manner of his recent, well-received speech at the Davos economic summit.

Things get underway at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday night and will include a protest by Democratic female lawmakers who will dress in white for the occasion; Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is delivering the Democratic response. On a historic note, 47 million people watched Mr. Trump’s address a year ago.

Multiple broadcast and cable outlets, of course, will carry it, each boasting a large, talkative population of analysts and anchors. If you want to witness the event minus commentary, consider C-SPAN coverage — or the livestream from the White House itself.

BERNIE TAKES FLIGHT

Climate? What climate? Sen. Bernard Sanders‘ campaign spent $1.2 million on private jet travel in the last three months of 2019 — more than his competition across the entire 2020 Democratic presidential primary field. So says a succinct investigation of private jet spending conducted by Free Beacon analyst Brent Scher.

“The most recent filing from Sanders reveals $1,199,579 in spending during the final three months of 2019 to Apollo Jets, LLC, a ‘luxury private jet charter service.’ The campaign spent an additional $23,941 for transportation to Virginia-based Advanced Aviation Team.

“Sanders has long leaned on private air travel on the campaign trail, despite his belief that limiting carbon emissions from the transportation sector is crucial to combating climate change. Traveling by private jet is estimated to produce roughly eight times the amount of carbon per passenger as traveling by commercial airliner,” writes Mr. Scher.

“The candidate who comes closest to matching Sanders in private jet spending was former Vice President Joe Biden, whose campaign spent $1,040,698 to Advanced Aviation Team in the last quarter,” he says.

Those are big, sooty carbon footprints, right? The two front-runners, however, are not alone. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign spent $720,518, Pete Buttigieg’s campaign spent $323,518 and Michael R. Bloomberg shelled out $646,000.

GRIM NUMBERS FOR SOCIALISM

“America will never be a socialist country,” President Trump proclaimed at a recent campaign rally.

He could be right about that. Socialism is not very popular in the first place.

“The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll spends a lot of time sussing out American voters’ views on President Trump’s impeachment and the 2020 election. But something else is tucked in there too: new numbers on the national mood when it comes to capitalism and socialism, writes Elizabeth Nolan Brown, a senior editor at Reason.

“Fifty-two percent of those polled said they viewed capitalism positively, while just 19% said the same about socialism. In an almost mirror flip, 18% had a negative view of capitalism, while 53% viewed socialism negatively,” Ms. Nolan points out.

POLL DU JOUR

84% of Americans are satisfied with the quality of life in America; 93% of Republicans, a 74% of Democrats agree.

81% overall are satisfied with the nation’s military strength and preparedness; 91% of Republicans, and 73% of Democrats agree.

72% overall are satisfied with the opportunity for a person to get ahead by working hard; 93% of Republicans and 52% of Democrats agree.

68% overall are satisfied with the nation’s security from terrorism; 80% of Republicans, and 53% of Democrats agree.

68% overall are also satisfied with the state of the U.S. economy; 87% of Republicans and 48% of Democrats agree.

63% overall are satisfied with women’s place in U.S. society; 84% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup Poll Social Series of poll of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 2-15 and released Monday.

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