From 'tea party' protesters to antiwar advocates, Americans on all sides of the political spectrum seem angry about something. But for all the tumult, the disaffection today is far less than in many periods in the past.
Tea partyers are are disgruntled social conservatives aiming to take control of the Republican Party. Independents are the antiparty force, trying to restructure the partisan political system.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent more on his own campaigns than any other politician in US history.
A New York congressional election, featuring a third-party conservative challenging the Republican nominee, tests the future of the GOP. Will the Tea Party insurgency prevail?
But will Tea Party protest energy help or hobble the Republican Party? They're challenging some GOP candidates and could split the vote in those races.
Obama is in a bind, given his no-tax campaign pledge. But the recession, stimulus spending, and higher interest on national debt are ballooning federal deficits, perhaps to risky levels.
Obama's TV piece portrays him as part of the middle-class. McCain calls it 'gauzy.'