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Fox News Poll: 73 percent dissatisfied with direction of country, up 20 points from 2012

Nearly three-quarters of American voters are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country today, and almost all of them rate the economy negatively.  Moreover, as more Democrats join the ranks of the disaffected, the dissatisfaction is increasingly bipartisan.

That’s according to a Fox News national poll released Thursday.

Overall, the poll finds 73 percent of voters are dissatisfied with how things are going.  That’s up from 63 percent who felt that way in July, and 53 percent last October. 

Likewise, satisfaction with the country’s direction is down and now stands at 26 percent.  A year ago it was 46 percent (October 2012).

Click here for the poll results.

Satisfaction is much higher among Democrats than it is among independents and Republicans.  It’s not uncommon to see more positive responses on questions like this from those whose party controls the White House.

Even so, much of the current overall decline in satisfaction comes from Democrats.  Forty-one percent of Democrats are satisfied with the direction of the country today, down from 54 percent in July and 77 percent in October 2012.  That’s a 36 percentage-point slide over the past year. 

There’s been a smaller, yet still significant decline in satisfaction among independents:  22 percent are happy with the way things are going now.  That’s down from 28 percent in July and 38 percent a year ago. 

Most Republicans are dissatisfied now (87 percent) and were equally dissatisfied a year ago (86 percent, October 2012).

The overall drop in satisfaction goes hand-in-hand with ratings of the economy.  People were more likely to rate the economy positively a year ago: just eight percent say it’s in good condition today, while twice as many gave the economy positive marks last October (16 percent excellent or good). 

The overwhelming consensus is the nation’s economy is in bad shape:  43 percent rate it as only fair, while nearly half -- 49 percent -- rate it as poor.

Meanwhile, 61 percent of voters think the recent government shutdown will hurt the economy.

The poll also asks about the economic situation of families and a 54-percent majority describes their financial situation as “just able to pay most bills.”  That’s identical to sentiment recorded in 2010 and 2009. 

One in five (20 percent) says their family is “falling behind,” while on the other end of the spectrum 24 percent say they are “getting ahead.” 

And while the economy is clearly causing much of the dissatisfaction, the nation’s political leaders shoulder some blame as well.  Disapproval of Congress is at an all-time high (85 percent) and President Obama’s disapproval rating of 53 percent is just below his high watermark of 54 percent recorded last month.

Poll Pourri

Has the federal government done everything it can to save money?  Most voters say no:  86 percent think the government “could spend less and save more without hurting people.”  Another 11 percent say Uncle Sam has “reduced unnecessary spending” as much as possible. 

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,020 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 20-22, 2013.  The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.