With the first voting of the 2016 presidential election less than a week away, 40% of Americans rate the country's current situation as positive, little changed since 2010, but well below the historical average and the more positive ratings measured between 2001 and 2008.
The current rating is somewhat higher than the lows in Gallup's trends, recorded before Richard Nixon's resignation over the Watergate scandal in 1974 (33%), and in the midst of a bad economy and soaring gas prices in 1979 (34%).
These assessments are based on one of three "ladder scale" questions Gallup has used periodically since 1959. These ask Americans to rate their feelings about the country currently, in five years and five years ago, using a zero to 10 scale, where zero equals the worst possible situation for the country and 10 equals the best possible situation. Ratings between 6 and 10 are categorized as positive.
This latest assessment was included in Gallup's Mood of the Nation survey, conducted Jan. 6-10.