By: John Zogby Contributor

As a growing number of economists project that unemployment may decline to 6.5% by mid-2014 and as other key indicators like housing starts, fewer mortgage foreclosures, and growing productivity appear to be pointing in a positive direction, the American public is in the middle of a major funk about their personal and the national future. These are among the findings in a new poll of 937 likely voters conducted on August 20 by Zogby Analytics. The poll has a margin of sampling error of +/-3.3 percentage points.

Despite the Wall Street/Beltway numbers, Main Street remains skeptical of progress. In the Zogby Poll, only 33% say that things in the country are heading in the right direction, while 56% say things "are off on the wrong track". The wrong track numbers are better than they were, to be sure: they hit 80% when George W. Bush left office in January 2009 and they have been in the sixties much of Barack Obama's tenure, but what is surprising is that the President's own base is not so sanguine about the state of the economy and the nation. Thus, only 50% of liberal say things are on the right track and 38% of moderates feel the same. Moderates have been a key to Mr. Obama's coalition, especially with the opposition shifting so rightward in recent years.

The same holds true for Democrats, only 59% of whom are "right track" voters these days. Mr. Obama won among independents last year and only 24% say things are on the right track. Seven in ten Hispanics and 91% of African Americans gave Mr. Obama their support in 2012; today, only 50% of Hispanics and 67% of African Americans feel things are on the right track. Young voters voted for Mr. Obama over Governor Romney by a factor of 61% to 37%, but now 38% of these voters are positive about the country's direction, as are groups like Weekly Wal-Mart Shoppers (41%) and the Investor Class (38%) - both groups Mr. Obama capture less than a year ago.

Just after the President was re-elected, 44% of all voters said that they expected their personal finances to be better off in the next four years. Today on 35% feel that way. That includes just 48% of his fellow Democrats and 31% of independents.

And now when asked if they are optimistic about the nation in the next four years, 47% say yes (it was over 50% just last month) and 46% say they are pessimistic.

They are not terrible numbers, but they are dismal. They reveal a malaise that persists as well as a huge disconnect between the purveyors of the "dismal science" (economists) and the workers, managers, and consumers that know the meaning of a smaller paycheck and the real cost of living at the grocery store.