By David Lightman
McClatchy Washington Bureau
October 2, 2014

WASHINGTON — Most Americans view the country moving in the wrong direction and don’t see their financial futures getting better anytime soon, attitudes likely to make it harder for Democrats to do well this fall, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

Sixty-one percent see the nation on the wrong track, down from 64 percent in August but still historically high.

A big reason for the anxiety: Only 30 percent expect their personal family finances to improve in the coming year, down from 35 percent in February. Fifty-four percent see their finances staying about the same.

People want their elected officials to make things better but don’t see much progress, so they give lawmakers low marks.

“It has to do with paying bills and economic security at a personal level,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducted the Sept. 24-29 poll.

The economic recovery, he said, “still hasn’t reached folks the way the macrodata suggest.”

The wrong direction/right track number is considered a key barometer of voter sentiment, and people strongly disapprove of how their elected officials are performing. Seventy-one percent of registered voters disliked how Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, are governing, while 61 percent felt the same about Democrats, who control the Senate.

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