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Read the Pew Research Center poll

Candidates take note: public views of the state of the economy have plummeted since last month when they were already pretty gloomy, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken Jan.30-Feb.2. Only 17 percent of those surveyed rated the economy as excellent or good, down from 26 percent last month. Pew says: “While several factors are driving the public’s economic pessimism, including concerns about the availability of jobs as well as problems in the housing market, rising prices – for gasoline or energy, healthcare, or overall inflation – are mentioned most frequently as the nation’s biggest economic problem:”

Similarly, Gallup reports – when it compares its daily tracking polls from Jan.6-12 to Feb.6-12 – that consumer confidence is downin the first part of February, particularly for middle-class Americans. A third of consumers rated the economy as “poor” compared to 27 percent last month.

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