Nearly half of people in the U.S. describe 2020 as “worrisome” (46%) and exhausting” (45%) in a new Axios|SurveyMonkey poll, with both words selected at about 1.5x the rate they were two years ago. “Chaotic” (34%) and hellish (21%) both about doubled in mentions from year-end 2018 to 2020.
Fewer than one in 10 characterize 2020 as “great” (9%), or “awesome (6%), both down by about one-third from 2018.
Optimism abounds heading into 2021
Still, Americans’ optimism has only strengthened after an exhausting and worrisome year. More people now than two years ago (63% vs. 51%) say they are more hopeful than fearful about what the next year has in store for the world in general.
Much like in 2018, about three-quarters of adults in the U.S. say they are more hopeful than fearful about what the coming year has in store for them personally (73%). Young people, people of color, and Democrats are some of the most hopeful.
Though a majority of the country is more hopeful than fearful about what 2021 holds in store for the incoming presidency of Joe Biden (56% vs. 42%), the vast majority of Republicans (82%) are more hopeful than fearful. Democrats (82%), Republicans (72%), and independents (73%) all are united in saying they are more hopeful than fearful about what 2021 will bring for the coronavirus pandemic (76% overall).
Most expect Trump’s influence to endure
2021 brings the end of the Trump administration, but not necessarily an end to Donald Trump’s influence. Few in the U.S. (31%) think Trump will play no role at all in the future of the Republican Party after his last day in office, while 32% expect him to play a minor role and 34% expect him to play a major role.
Read more about our polling methodology here.
Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: