2013? Poll finds Americans weary and wary

2013? Poll finds Americans weary and wary

Even as the economic outlook brightens a bit, Americans’ view of the nation’s future, its leaders and its fundamental promise have darkened.

PITTSBURGH — Remember that wave of optimism and good feeling that typically greets a presidential inauguration, not to mention a new year?

This time, it’s hard to find.

Battered by an economy that is only slow recovering — and soured by the spectacle of Washington dysfunction in the “fiscal cliff” debate — views of the nation’s future and its fundamental promise have darkened in the four years since Barack Obama’s first inauguration.

Then, even during an unfolding financial crisis, Americans believed by a double-digit margin that it was likely young people would have a better life than their parents, one facet of the classic American dream. Now, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds they’re narrowly inclined to say that’s not likely. By 50%-47%, respondents say the country’s best years are behind us.

“I’m pessimistic about where the country is and where it’s going,” says Rick Rogoff, 55, the owner of a small food-service company here, ticking off the reasons why. “From the cost of living to the quality of health care to inflation to the politics of the country — the partisanship, it’s endless. I’m not really a pessimist. I’m a realist. I look at the situation and it’s hard to find things that are good.”

Even those with a more upbeat perspective sound less than confident. “I’m optimistic,” Tamera Bryant, 39, the auditor for a non-profit organization, says of Obama’s next four years, “but I think it’s going to be a fight.” Continue reading “2013? Poll finds Americans weary and wary”

Political Perceptions: Poll Points to Risks for Romney

Political Perceptions: Poll Points to Risks for Romney

By Aaron Zitner, Associated Press

  • The Wall Street JournalSeptember 19, 2012, 9:08 AM

Mitt Romney campaigns in the rain at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio,               Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Which voters are causing the most trouble for Mitt Romney?

 The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, released Tuesday evening, shows Mr. Romney trailing President Barack Obama — perhaps dangerously so, given the shrinking pool of undecided voters. But it also points to ways that Mr. Romney could be winning, if only he could hold on to some big voting groups that have supported him more firmly in the past.

Take a look at white voters with college educations. They make up about a third of all voters, and they’ve been open to supporting the Republican nominee at various points this year. But lately, they’ve been backing away, contributing to Mr. Romney’s currently lagging position in the race. Mr. Romney trails Mr. Obama by five percentage points among all likely voters, with 45% support, compared with the president’s 50%.

In May, Mr. Romney had a 13-point lead among college-educated whites. But his position has steadily deteriorated. This month, Mr. Romney actually trails the president by two percentage points among white college graduates—the third straight month in which Mr. Romney has sunk to just about parity.

Mr. Romney’s failure to build a stronger position among these voters is significant. Given the president’s commanding lead among minority voters, Mr. Romney has to build big margins among other large demographic groups. Continue reading “Political Perceptions: Poll Points to Risks for Romney”

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