Lustgarten said he was disappointed with Obama. “I don’t like GITMO, the predatory drones. It seems like Bush 2.0 to me. I’m disappointed with his foreign policy.” Nevertheless, Lustgarten said he would probably vote for him.

What’s really bothering voters? “They are very angry,” Lustgarten said, and “They believe that if you throw out the people you are unhappy with, someone else will come in and change things. But it never happens. Their frustration becomes anger. They don’t vote as an active way of expressing their frustrations. If they do vote, it’s like they sold out.”

Correction: In the section about Carl Burrows, he did not have to cross the Missouri to get to Omaha. His hometown of Carter Lake, IA, is on the same side of the river. CJR regrets the error.

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.