Washington, June 5 (Xinhua-ANI): Six in ten Americans have grown sour about the economic prospects for their children amid the run-up to November's presidential elections, a Gallup poll found Monday.
Americans are dissatisfied with the opportunities available for the next generation to live better than their parents. Older Americans are particularly unhappy on this question, and the majority of young adults are negative as well, the poll found.
Whether this pessimism hurts U.S. President Barack Obama's chances for re-election is not clear, but the figures suggest there isn't a broad sense of optimism among potential voters, Gallup said.
The results are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted on May 10-13 and could have implications for how Americans perceive Obama's job performance when deciding whether to support his re-election bid in fall, Gallup said.
Whenever there's a sense of dissatisfaction it tends to hurt the incumbent, said Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland. But the challenger has to come up with a persuasive narrative of how he is going to change the situation.
It's too early to see whether Romney will succeed in that, and it is clear that he has not yet done so, he added.
Karlyn Bowman, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said that in difficult economic times, people are generally pessimistic about whether the next generation will live better than their parents.
President Obama hasn't made things better economically, but once again, at least at this early stage, it isn't clear for many that Romney would do better, she said.
The two candidates are running neck-in-neck, with the most recent Real Clear Politics poll showing Obama leading by a mere two points, an insignificant lead that makes it anybody's game, experts said.
The idea of America as a place where citizens can rise up the economic ladder depends partly on an economic system that rewards people based on effort and merit-not race, class, title, or other social barriers-and partly on Americans' willingness to make a serious effort to succeed. Americans themselves currently have doubts about both aspects of that equation, the poll said.
The poll's main findings comprised a mix of data: Fifty percent of U.S. adults reported being satisfied with opportunities available to a poor person to get ahead through hard work, while 48 percent said they were dissatisfied.
Satisfaction with Americans' willingness to work hard to better themselves is also mixed, with 52 percent satisfied and 45 percent dissatisfied.
Americans of all ages have similar perceptions about the existence of merit-based opportunity in the country, with about half of each age group saying they are satisfied. However, young and middle-aged adults are somewhat less positive than those are 55 and older about Americans' willingness to work hard to better themselves.
Democrats today are the most upbeat about the financial opportunity available to the next generation, albeit on a relative basis. Less than half of Democrats are satisfied with the opportunity for the next generation to live better than their parents, compared with 37 percent of Republicans and 35 percent of independents.
Democrats are also significantly more likely than Republicans to feel satisfied with Americans' willingness to work hard to get ahead -- 59 percent for Democrats and 47 percent for Republicans. At the same time, Republicans are somewhat more likely than Democrats to be satisfied with the opportunity a poor person has to get ahead through hard work -- 56 percent to 50 percent.
Those distinctions may reflect that Democrats are more inclined than Republicans to be positive about national conditions when a Democratic president is leading the nation. (Xinhua-ANI)