America’s Fed Up: Obama Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low, Poll Shows

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from NBCNews,

Two words sum up the mood of the nation: Fed up.

Six in 10 Americans are dissatisfied with the state of the U.S. economy, more than 70 percent believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, and nearly 80 percent are down on the country’s political system, according to the latest NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll.

The frustration carries over to the nation’s political leaders, with President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating hitting a new low at 40 percent, and a mere 14 percent of the public giving Congress a thumbs up.

“We’re in the summer of our discontent,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “Americans are cranky, unhappy… It is with everything going on the world.”

Yet because this discontent differs – among Democrats, Republicans, and independents – Hart cautions that Americans still aren’t likely to be storming the polls on Election Day in November.

“We’re unhappy, but we aren’t coalescing around an issue,” he said.

Indeed, 57 percent of respondents told pollsters that something upsets them enough to carry a protest sign for a day.

The discontent’s two main causes

The NBC/WSJ pollsters attribute the wide discontent to the lingering effects of the Great Recession, as well as a loss of faith in the country’s politicians.>

Even though the recession ended years ago and even though the U.S. economy has created 200,000-plus jobs over the past six months, a plurality of Americans – 49 percent – believe the economy is still in a recession.

There’s also the public’s anger at Washington. A whopping 79 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with the U.S. political system, including nearly half who are very dissatisfied.

In addition, 71 percent of Americans believe the economic problems facing the country are due to the inability of elected officials in Washington to get things done to improve the economy.

By comparison, just 23 percent think the problems are due to deep and longstanding issues with the economy.

“The public seems have moved beyond the plaintive cry of ‘Feel our pain!’ to the more angry pronouncement of ‘You are causing our pain!’” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang of Hart Research.

Bad numbers for Obama, even worse for Congress and Republicans

As for the politicians measured in the NBC/WSJ poll, President Obama’s overall job rating stands at an all-time low of 40 percent, a one-point drop from June.

That decline comes from slightly lower support from Democrats and African-American respondents.

Forty-two percent approve of the president’s handling of the economy, while only 36 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy.

But if the president’s numbers are bad, Congress’ are even worse.

Only 14 percent approve of the job Congress is doing – the seventh-straight NBC/WSJ poll dating back to 2011 when this rating has been below 15 percent.

Midterm forecast: A good – but maybe not great – year for Republicans

With the midterm elections less than three months away, the NBC/WSJ poll finds 44 percent of voters preferring a GOP-controlled Congress, and 43 percent preferring a Democratic-controlled one.

The good news for Republicans, according to GOP pollster McInturff: An incumbent president in the low 40s and seven-in-10 Americans thinking the country is on the wrong track is typically good for the opposition party.

The not-so good news for the GOP: High interest in the elections is down from past midterm elections. And Republicans continue to trail among women by double digits.

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