Why are so many Americans so frustrated with the way things have been going?
Polls can give us the dry numbers. Conversations can tell us so much more, as NPR's Don Gonyea found out on a reporting trip to Pennsylvania's 11th Congressional district, in the eastern end of the Keystone State.
With unemployment high and no clear sign that things are going to be better anytime soon, even those who have jobs are feeling stretched and anxious. You can hear it in the voice of 48-year-old Jeff Hardy, who Don spoke with at length (transcript after the clip):
"I'm underemployed. I'm not making enough money to get by really.
"I really like living in this area. ... I like. ... There's a real natural beauty around here that you just don't get other places. But there's just ... there's nothing here to really fully employ a person.
"I'm working in a factory. It's hard, sweaty work. I make about $9-10 an hour, depending on how much we do. We package dog food for Wal-Mart.
"The Democrats are all crooked, and the Republicans only care about the rich people. I wish there was someone who cared about the working people."
We'll have more from Don's reporting trip to Pennsylvania later this afternoon. And you can hear his story later today on ATC. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or webcasts the show. [Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]