Americans were dour about 2016, but expressed hope that next year will be better.
Just 18 percent said things for the country got better in 2016. Meanwhile, 33 percent said things got worse, and 47 percent said 2016 was unchanged from 2015.
In interviews about the poll results, people cited politics as the reason 2016 felt worse to them. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say 2016 was worse for the country than 2015, according to the poll.
“Trump, Trump, Trump!” University of Miami professor Benjamin Alsup said of why 2016 felt worse to him, according to the AP.
Looking ahead to next year, 55 percent said they believe things will be better in 2017 than in 2016. That’s a 12-point increase from last year’s poll.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to feel that 2017 will be even better for them personally, according to AP.
The election was also the top news story of the year, according to the poll. Three-quarters called the presidential election and Trump’s victory very or extremely important, according to the AP.
Shootings and terrorist attacks in Orlando, Fla.; Belgium, Turkey, Pakistan and France were ranked as personally important stories by 63 percent.
Meanwhile, 51 percent said news about the deaths of people at the hands of police officers or news about ambush attacks on police in three states were among the year’s most important news events.
The spread of Zika ranked at the fourth most important story, with 43 percent saying as such.
At the bottom of the list of news stories were the death of boxer Muhammad Ali, with 50 percent describing it as not too important; the approval of recreational marijuana use in four states, with 43 percent saying it was not too important; and the death of Fidel Castro.
The poll was conducted online Dec. 9-11. The sample of 1,007 adults was drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which it says is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is 3 points.