Published December 23, 2015
Americans are growing more pessimistic about the economy and the war in Afghanistan, and are losing faith that Democrats have better solutions than Republicans, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
Underpinning the gloom: Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the economy has yet to hit bottom, a sharply higher percentage than the 53 percent who felt that way in January.
The sour national mood appears all-encompassing and is dragging down ratings for the GOP too, suggesting voters above all are disenchanted with the political establishment in Washington. Just 24 percent express positive feelings about the Republican Party, a new low in the 21-year history of the Journal's survey. Democrats are only slightly more popular, but also near an all-time low.
The results likely foreshadow a poor showing in November's mid-term for Democrats, whose leaders had hoped the public would grow more optimistic about the economy and, as a result, more supportive of the party agenda. Now, despite the weak Republican numbers, the survey shows frustrated voters on the left are less interested than impassioned voters on the right to in the election.
"Even with Republicans having low numbers, they are the opposition party and are going to benefit from people saying, 'We're ticked off and we want a change,"' said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart. "The way you vote your discontent is to say you're going to vote Republican."