Americans are more pessimistic about the U.S. economic outlook than they have been since the start of the Obama administration and most believe the United States is on the wrong track, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll released Thursday.
The number of Americans who think the economy is getting worse jumped 13 percentage points in just one month, to 39 percent, the poll suggested.
Just 23 percent said they thought the economy was improving, down 3 percentage points from the previous month.
Seventy percent of respondents said the country was heading in the wrong direction and most think neither President Barack Obama nor Congressional Republicans share their priorities for the country, the poll showed.
The dour mood is dragging down performance ratings for President Barack Obama and both parties in Congress with the 2012 election season already underway, the poll found.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy, while 75 percent said they disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.
While Washington is consumed with debate over deficit-reduction proposals, Americans seemed uncertain about the impact of cutting the deficit on the U.S. economy.
Some 29 percent of those polled said cutting the deficit would create more jobs, while 29 percent said deficit-cutting would cost jobs and 27 percent said it would have no effect on the employment outlook.
The poll found considerable support for Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy -- 72 percent of respondents approved of that idea as a way to address the deficit.
Obama's job approval stood at 46 percent, while 45 percent did not approve of his performance in office.
More than half of poll respondents, 56 percent, said they did not have a favorable view of Republicans in Congress, as opposed to 37 percent who said they did.
The Democratic Party fared somewhat better, with a 49 percent approval rating versus 44 percent disapproval.
The telephone survey of 1,224 adults was conducted Friday through Wednesday and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
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