America may well be headed smack into a recession or even in one right now. Certainly the economy has slowed dramatically, growing at an anemic 0.6 percent annual rate in the last quarter of 2007. Then again, maybe this is just what economists call a "growth pothole" and things will soon pick up. The job market remains resilient, after all, and consumers continue to spend at a steady clip.
But in terms of presidential politics, the twists and turns of the data may matter little. If there's one thing Democrats and Republicans now agree on—at least according to the exit polls from last week's Florida presidential primary—it's that the economy is the country's biggest problem. And that's a view unlikely to change before Election Day next November. To see exactly what's got voters so vexed, U.S. News recently chatted with folks in six Super Tuesday primary states about their financial fears and economic concerns.
- San Jose, California: Even in this economic engine, tech workers are nervous
- St. Louis, Missouri: A market that was never hot still can’t escape housing woes
- Babylon, New York: Pocketbook issues move into the spotlight as business slows
- Smyrna, Tennessee: Foreign investment brings a town jobs—and worries, too
- Vail, Colorado: No worries in ski country, where the tourists are flush
- Peoria, Illinois: This city is smiling, thanks to Caterpillar’s robust exports