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57 hours in, Americans still optimistic about 2011

January 3, 2011 |  8:58 am

New Years Times Square Crowd 12-31-10

So far, so good.

A new Gallup Poll out this morning finds that, despite all the evidence, a majority of Americans believes that 2011 will be better than 2010.

But just a teeny bit better.

And that's with President Obama and Congress still out of town.

According to Gallup, 45% believe the year will be "a little better," while for some reason 13% expect "a lot better." Twenty-one percent say they expect 2011 to be "the same," while, more realistically, one in five are counting on some kind of worse.a happy Democrat president Barack Obama

Compared to independents and Republicans, Democrats are far more hopeful for a good 2011. How could it be much worse?

Seven in 10 Democrats see happier days here again this year, while less than half of GOP members do.

This pattern fits what Gallup surveys have found since Barack Obama took the oath of office twice on Jan. 20, 2009.

More than half of Americans expect the nation to be governed the same or worse than in Obama's second year. Only 42% expect the country to be governed better this year.

However, Gallup found that Republicans (House of Representatives) feel more positive about the way the nation will be governed in 2011 (House of Representatives) than do Democrats or independents.

Exactly why Republicans (House of Representatives) feel this way remains a real mystery. (House of Representatives)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Joe Corrigan / Getty Images (Times Square just before 2011); Larry Downing / Reuters.

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