NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Americans' sense of frustration impacted election results in a big way yesterday. Fully 80% of those living in the 10 largest cities in America believe that the "people in Washington are out of touch with the rest of the country," according to a new Harris poll. Ironically, even 71% of the people living in Washington D.C. agree with that statement. The disdain for political gridlock was apparent as voters ousted incumbents across the nation.
But this feeling of alienation goes beyond politics. Surveying residents in the nation's largest metropolitan areas, Harris has developed an Alienation Index; the higher the number, the more people feel left out and powerless to influence what is going on around them. The 10-market average score was 58, but residents in Dallas/Fort Worth (65) and Philadelphia (63) feel the most isolated. On the opposite end of the spectrum, citizens in Boston (54) and New York (55) had below-average scores and were the least alienated of the 10 cities surveyed.
Measuring specific attitudes, the survey found that 86% of San Franciscans agree with the statement that "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer," -- the most of any city by a considerable margin. Such a feeling of economic polarization is a bit less significant in Houston and Chicago (72% each).