Democrats and President Biden voters report more happiness than GOP and Trump supporters, poll found

BOCA RATON – When it comes to happiness, Democratic voters and President Joe Biden appear to be happier than Republican voters and former President Donald Trump.

That’s according to a new Florida Atlantic University PolCom and Mainstreet Research happiness poll released in advance of the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness on March 20.

The university’s Happiness Thermometer poll used five items designed to assess overall happiness.

“Through its application in the poll, the thermometer measures connections between happiness and politics, revealing measurable differences in happiness among age and economic groups, as well as party affiliation and voter intention,” according to a statement from FAU.

According to the poll findings, 69 percent of Democratic voters reported they’re at least “slightly satisfied” with their lives compared to 66 percent of Republican voters who said the same. Among voters who would vote for Biden in 2024, 75 percent answered that they were at least “slightly satisfied” with their lives, while 62 percent of Trump voters said the same.

“Happiness is important to understand as it influences the well-being and satisfaction of citizens, which in turn shapes their voting behavior,” said Carol Bishop Mills, Ph.D., FAU’s communication professor, PolCom co-director, and expert in relational communication.

The poll also found that while people were happy overall, older and wealthier adult voters are happier than younger and less wealthy ones.

While two-thirds of respondents said respondents expressed satisfaction with their lives, 89 percent of people over 65 and nearly 67 percent of people ages 50 to 64 reported being “happy.”

But not all news is good.

“Roughly 56 percent of younger respondents 18 to 34 (millennials and Generation Z) indicated that they were ‘dissatisfied’ with their lives, and only 21 percent of this age group indicated that they were ‘extremely satisfied’ or ‘satisfied.’ According to the poll, 49 percent voted Democrat in the 2020 presidential election and 42 percent voted Republican,” according to the university.

As we head into the 2024 presidential election, that voting trend appears to be reversing itself.

Fifty-four percent of likely millennial and Gen Z voters indicated they would vote for Trump, while only 37 percent reported they’d vote for Biden. Among all voters in this age group, 50 percent indicated they would vote for Trump and 34 percent indicated they would vote for Biden.

“This finding is important. Generally, young adults through the early 30s have high levels of happiness, bolstered by optimism, new experiences and independence. Then, happiness dips for mid-life periods and rebounds with the highest levels in adults over 50,” Mills said. “Young people with high levels of unhappiness is noteworthy – and so is the level of satisfaction among older voters. We have seen a rise in depression, anxiety, and mental health issues in the younger population, and it is important to take these concerns seriously.”

Although it is said that money can’t buy happiness, the poll’s data found in some ways it does.

“Of respondents making $50,000 or less, 62 percent indicated that they are happy, but 72 percent of respondents with incomes of more than $100,000 reported that they are happy. Economic dissatisfaction may be translating into support for Trump, as 50 percent of people making under $50,000 support Trump and 55 percent making over $100,000 support Biden,” according to the university.

In terms of race, white voters had the highest levels of life satisfaction, with a striking 70 percent indicating at least slight satisfaction. Meanwhile, Black voters demonstrated a satisfaction rate of 60 percent, while Hispanic voters reported 61 percent satisfaction.

The poll also revealed a neck-and-neck race between Biden and Trump in the upcoming election, both among all voters and likely voters.

In response to the question, “If the election for president was held today, and candidates were Joe Biden and Donald Trump, which candidate would you support?” voters demonstrated a striking split in their preferences.

Forty-four percent of all voters expressed support for Biden and 44 percent for Trump. Similarly, among likely voters, Biden slightly edged out Trump with 47 percent of support compared to Trump’s 45 percent.

The university said the difference fell within the margin of sampling error, making the presidential race too close to predict a definitive winner at this stage.

The poll was taken Wednesday, March 15 to Friday, March 17 with a sample of 1,053 adults, 18 years of age or older, registered to vote, and living in the United States.

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