Americans are gloomier about the direction of the country than at any point since 1992, and Democrats have matched their biggest advantage in 25 years as the party better able to deal with the nation's main problems, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Despite more than eight in 10 now saying the country is headed in the wrong direction and growing disaffection with the Republican Party, Sen. John McCain, the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee, remains competitive in a general election matchup with Sen. Barack Obama, the favorite for the Democratic nomination, and runs almost even with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Those findings indicate that McCain continues to elude some of the anger aimed at his party and at President Bush, whose own approval dipped to an all-time low in Post-ABC polling. Maintaining a separate identity will be a key to McCain's chances of winning the White House in November. Overall, Democrats enjoy a 21-point advantage over Republicans as the party best-equipped to handle the nation's problems.