Fifty-four percent of Americans say they are more positive about the next four years under President Barack Obama's leadership, and 41 percent said they thought the country would be worse off, results of the Gallup-USA Today poll indicated.
The level of optimism following Obama's historic 2008 election was 65 percent.
The Princeton, N.J., polling agency said the nation's optimism resembles or exceeds levels after other recent election, particularly a few months after George W. Bush's re-election in 2004, when 53 percent said they were optimistic.
Democrats are nearly unanimous in their positive feelings about the next four years, with 94 percent saying things will be better for the country and 4 percent saying they think things will be worse.
In nearly an opposite vein, 11 percent of Republicans said the country will be better off and 86 percent said it would worsen.
Independents are upbeat about the future, 51 percent to 40 percent, Gallup said.
Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews with 1,009 adults conducted Nov. 9-12. The margin of error is 3 percentage points.