From celebrations to resolutions: New Year's Eve by the numbers

NEW YORK (AP) — Emotionally wrenching politics, foreign conflicts and shootings at home took a toll on Americans in 2016, but they are entering 2017 on an optimistic note, according to a new poll that found that a majority believes things are going to get better for the country next year.


A look at the key findings of the Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll:

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SO HOW WAS 2016?

Americans weren’t thrilled with the year. Only 18 percent said things for the country got better, 33 percent said things got worse, and 47 percent said it was unchanged from 2015.

On a personal level, they were optimistic about 2017.

Fifty-five percent said they believe things will be better for them in the coming year than in the year that just concluded. That’s a 12-point improvement from last year’s poll.

Americans interviewed about the poll’s results expressed some of that optimism.

“Next year will be better than this year, because people will have more jobs and they’ll have more money to spend,” said Bourema Tamboura, a Harlem resident behind the wheel of a New York car service.

“I’m hoping 2017 will be better,” added Elizabeth Flynn, 62, an elementary schoolteacher from Peabody, Massachusetts. “You’ve got to be optimistic, and I’m going to try.”

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say 2016 was worse for the country than 2015. And Republicans are especially likely to feel that 2017 will be even better for them personally.

University of Miami professor Benjamin Alsup said he needed only three words to explain…

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