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37% back protests, 58% angry about politics in poll

About 37 percent of the country supports the Wall Street protests, and even more -- 58 percent -- say they are furious about America's politics.

The number of angry people is growing as deep reservoirs of resentment grip the country, according to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll.

"They've got reasons to be upset, they've got reasons to protest, but they're protesting against the wrong people," Jan Jarrell, 54, a retired school custodian from Leesville, S.C., said of the New York demonstrators. "They need to go to Washington, to Congress and the White House. They're the ones coming up with all the rules."

Of the Americans who support the "Occupy Wall Street" protests that have spread from New York to cities across the country, 64 percent are Democrats, while 22 percent are independents and 14 percent are Republicans. The protest backers are more likely to approve of President Obama and more likely to disapprove of Congress than are people who don't support the demonstrations.

More generally, many more Americans -- 58 percent -- say they are furious about the country's politics than did in January, when 49 percent said they felt that way.

Nearly 90 percent say they are frustrated with politics, and nearly the same say they are disappointed, findings that suggest people are deeply resentful of the political bickering over such basic government responsibilities as passing a federal budget and raising the nation's debt limit.

This wrath spreads across political lines, with about six in 10 Democrats, Republicans and independents saying politics makes them angry.

Fewer are hopeful about politics than when the year began, 47 percent down from 60 percent.

Since January, Congress and the White House have engaged in repeated standoffs over federal spending and the size of government as the economy has struggled to recover from recession.

In the past month, fury over all that has spilled into New York's financial district, and groups of mostly young people have camped out in a park.

The poll found that most protest supporters do not blame Obama for the economic crisis. Sixty-eight percent say former President George W. Bush deserves "almost all" or "a lot but not all" of the blame. Just 15 percent say Obama deserves that much blame. Nearly six in 10 protest supporters blame Republicans in Congress for the nation's economic problems, and 21 percent blame congressional Democrats.

Six in 10 protest supporters trust Democrats more than Republicans to create jobs.

The poll was conducted Oct. 13-17, 2011, by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cellphone interviews with 1,000 adults and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The poll included 384 respondents who said they were supporters of the Wall Street protests. Among that group, the error margin was 6.5 points.

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