- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 30, 2016

While a contentious presidential election dominates the media, a new survey finds that a sense of “alienation” among average Americans is at an all-time high.

For decades, the Harris Poll has gauged how much, or how little, people feel their interests are heard and addressed by those with power and influence. The latest survey found that 82 percent of Americans believe that the people running the country don’t really care what happens to them. Another 78 percent say the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer while 70 percent believe that most people in power try to take advantage of people like them.

The survey also found that 68 percent believe that what they think doesn’t count very much anymore while 40 percent say that they are “left out” of things going on around them.

Harris has conducted this poll every year since 1966, and these are the most negative results yet.

About three-fourths of the respondents said the nation was on the wrong track. Another 42 percent gave President Obama a positive rating for his job performance; only 10 percent gave the U.S. Congress a thumbs up.

“As President Obama comes to the end of his time in office, there is a shift in the feeling of alienation by political party affiliation. Adults who identify as Republican feel the most alienated, followed by independents and then Democrats,” the poll analysis stated.

The poll of 2,019 U.S. adults was conducted May 31 to June 2 and released Thursday.

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