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We asked readers whether they are better off in 2024. Here’s what they said

By Tami Luhby, CNN

(CNN) — The US is in an odd spot right now. By many metrics, the economy is doing well, but polls show that lots of Americans aren’t feeling it.

CNN designed its own quiz to ask readers whether they are better off now, under President Joe Biden, or whether things were better for them under former President Donald Trump, the two leading candidates who will square off in November’s election. We prompted readers to consider whether they feel safer, happier, freer and healthier, in addition to in a better position economically, and to tell us why.

You can take the quiz here.

A majority of quiz respondents said they do feel better off now than when Biden took office in 2021, though a sizeable share said their personal situation had not improved.
The reasons they gave varied widely, from their finances to their sense of personal safety to their concerns about America’s standing in the world.

Looking at a representative sample of more than 10,000 responses, one concern that featured prominently was readers’ view that Trump’s first term was marked by uncertainty and chaos. They wrote of persistent anxiety that Trump was fostering division, eroding democracy and alienating allies, though they said they felt calmer with Biden in the White House.

Quiz takers also voiced concerns about rising prices, crime and the loss of personal freedoms.

Here are four factors that multiple readers said shaped their views:

Higher investments and wages

Though costs are higher, the stock market has been on a tear. The S&P 500 is up more than a third since Biden took office. And wages have outpaced inflation since the middle of last year.

Multiple quiz takers noted that they were feeling flusher thanks to the hot stock market and strong job market.

Steep inflation

Prices have skyrocketed during the Biden administration, and while the rate of inflation has slowed, costs remain high. Polls show that inflation is one of Americans’ main financial concerns.

Some quiz respondents wrote of feeling the same way.

Personal safety

Multiple people wrote that they don’t feel as safe as they have in the past. Some blame an increase in crime (although most US crime statistics went down last year), and others say there is a surge of hate and intolerance.

This is what some had to say:

Abortion and LGBTQ rights

The Supreme Court’s overturning of the federal constitutional right to an abortion in 2022 factored heavily into some quiz takers’ view of whether they are better off now. Trump appointed three of the justices and has taken credit for the ruling.

Other respondents said they fear the country has grown more intolerant of gay, lesbian and transgender Americans.

Here’s a sample of their concerns:

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