The Middle Class' Lost Decade

The middle class directs most of the blame for their difficulties on Congress, banks and financial institutions, large corporations and the Bush administration. Only 8% of respondents were willing to put a lot of the blame on the middle class itself.

When it comes to this year's presidential election, the group feels that President Obama's policies (52%) would help them more than Mitt Romney's (42%).

A large portion of the middle class feel hard work still pays off. Two-thirds (67%) of respondents agreed that "most people who want to get ahead can make it if they are willing to work hard." This percentage is not very far off from its high since Pew began tracking it in 1994 -- it was 74% in 1999.

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