Public views of the job market have improved modestly, but overall economic optimism remains limited. Many say their incomes are falling behind the cost of living and 45% have experienced a serious financial hardship.
The current economic recovery, which hit the five-year mark this month, has underperformed other recent expansions that have lasted at least as long.
With the midterm elections six months away, 47% of registered voters support the Republican candidate in their district while 43% favor the Democrat. And more see their vote as a vote against President Obama than for him.