(PHOTO CREDIT: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are in a pretty foul mood these days. Between an economy in recession and an unpopular war entering its sixth year with no resolution in sight, we're not a happy bunch.
In fact, 81% of us say things in this country have "pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track," according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. A year ago it was 69%, and five years ago it was just 35%. It's the highest level of dissatisfaction ever recorded since this poll was first taken in the early '90s. Only 14% of Americans think we're headed in the right direction.
And the pain is spread across almost every demographic and political group – Democrats, Republicans, men, women, people who live in cities and those in rural areas, college and high school graduates.
The poll also found that compared to 5 years ago, 78% of Americans think things in the U.S. are worse. 17% say it's the same. And only 4% say things have improved.
The public's unhappiness began to rise with the onset of the war in Iraq. Now the economy is playing a big part in the darkening mood. Only 21% say the overall economy is in good condition, and nearly 2 in 3 say they think the economy is in a recession.
It's clear Americans are looking to the elections in November to offer a drastic change of course. Either John McCain, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama has to convince the public they can right this train. The one who does will be our next president.
Here’s my question to you: Which of the presidential candidates will most benefit from the fact that 81% of Americans think the country is on the wrong track?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Inri from Cambridge, Mass. writes:
Obama campaigns on change. Hillary campaigns on Obama's unelectability. Even if they're wrong, people associate them with their campaign platforms. If people don't like the way things are going, they're going to support "change," even if they only have an idea of the word and not the candidate.
Andy from Fairfax, Va. writes:
None of the candidates benefit. The truth of the matter is that no matter who is elected in November they will have to spend their entire first term undoing the damage that the current administration has done.
Dan from Massachusetts writes:
The Democratic candidate, whoever he or she may be. The Republicans are responsible for setting forth an agenda that has crippled our military, destroyed our economy and seized power where it had never existed before. McCain is Bush, he's a Republican. The Democratic Party will win the White House come November.
Pete from Florida writes:
When the first Hurricane Bush left the U.S in bad shape, it was Bill Clinton who turned us around and put us back on our own two feet. Now the second Hurricane Bush has turned everything back around and knocked us off our feet. So the candidate who'd benefit most would be the one who knows exactly how to deal with a Bush storm, and that would be a Clinton.
Jim from Bossier City, La. writes:
I would put forth the idea that should the Democrats not win the White House in the Nov ‘08 election, it is time to do away with the two-party system. With the empire of George Bush and Darth Vader crashing on so many different fronts at this particular time, the Dems should be shoo-ins.
Harry from Kentucky writes:
The candidate with the least perceived connections to the Beltway. Currently, that would be Obama. Let's just pray that things don't get so bad, that Nader becomes viable.