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Wary of nation's course, Americans expect unhappy year ahead: Poll

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Shoppers wait in a check-out line at a Costco wholesale store in Orlando, Florida. (File photo)

A new survey has found that two-thirds of Americans have no hope in either political party to address the challenges facing the United States, believing the country is moving in the wrong direction ahead of the New Year. 

A new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll said on Monday that there were few signs of a burst of optimism among people as the New Year nears.

By 65%-26%, people say the US has gotten off on the wrong track, not headed in the right direction.

"I'm hopeful, but I'm also doubtful," said Janet Brown, a Republican respondent.

Another respondent, Peter Grant, a Democrat, said, "We're in for some tumultuous times.”

"Things are not good in this country right now in a lot of ways,” Grant said.

Asked what one word described their mood about the new year, 39% of respondents chose "hopeful" and 5% chose "enthusiastic," percentages that had dropped a bit from last year.

Twenty-four percent chose "worried" and 11% "fearful," both higher than last year. And 18% said their mood was "exhausted."

From a list of 11 issues, 35% of the respondents chose inflation/the economy as their top priority that President Joe Biden and Congress must address next year. 

A Gallup poll showed Thursday that over half of US households say inflation is causing them hardship.

According to the poll, which was conducted among more than 1,800 American adults during November, found that 77% of lower-income respondents were financially suffering from price increases, compared to 60% of middle-income adults, and 42% of upper-income adults.

The USA TODAY poll, meanwhile, found that "threats to democracy" ranked second at 12%, and immigration third at 10% on the list of issues that Americans are concerned about. 

Five percent, including 8% of Republicans, put investigating the Biden administration as their biggest issue.

A group of House Republicans vowed to launch a series of investigations-- into Biden's withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, his administration's policies to control the southern border, alleged conflicts in the business interests of the president's son, Hunter, and more – when they take control of the House of Representatives in January.

Their probe will begin to unfold next year, as the US political calendar heads toward the 2024 presidential election, in which Biden said he currently intends to seek re-election.

A White House statement accused House Republicans of planning to go after Biden "with politically motivated attacks chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories."

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