Poll Finds Americans Pessimistic, Want ChangeWill this presidency EVER end? Will January 2009 (Good God, that just sounds so distant!) ever get here, or perhaps more importantly, get here in time?
War, Economy, Politics Sour Views of Nation's Direction
By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
One year out from the 2008 election, Americans are deeply pessimistic and eager for a change in direction from the agenda and priorities of President Bush, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Concern about the economy, the war in Iraq and growing dissatisfaction with the political environment in Washington all contribute to the lowest public assessment of the direction of the country in more than a decade. Just 24 percent think the nation is on the right track, and three-quarters said they want the next president to chart a course that is different than that pursued by Bush.
Overwhelmingly, Democrats want a new direction, but so do three-quarters of independents and even half of Republicans. Sixty percent of all Americans said they feel strongly that such a change is needed after two terms of the Bush presidency. Dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq remains a primary drag on public opinion, and Americans are increasingly downcast about the state of the economy. More than six in 10 called the war not worth fighting, and nearly two-thirds gave the national economy negative marks. The outlook going forward is also bleak: About seven in 10 see a recession as likely over the next year.