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New polls find Americans in a sour mood

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School may be out, vacation season may be upon us, but Americans are not in a cheery mood, two new public opinion polls indicate.

A new nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds “Americans are in an increasingly sour mood about Washington,” Pew Center President Andrew Kohut said in a statement.

The Pew poll, conducted August 11-17, reports that Barack Obama’s approval ratings have inched downward. Some 51 percent of those surveyed approve of how the president is handling his job, unchanged from July, but down 10 points from June. Some 37 percent now disapprove of his performance, up from 34 percent in July.

Bipartisanship doubted

A growing proportion of the public says Democrats and Republicans are not working together to solve national problems. Some 63 percent of Americans hold that view now, up from 50 percent in June, Pew said.

The Democratic Party's favorability ratings have declined sharply, according to Pew. Now just 49 percent of those polled have a favorable view of the Democrats, down from 62 percent just before Mr. Obama took office. Republicans' approval rating has been stuck at 40 percent all year.

Glum on pocketbook issues

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