The results of a new poll in Washington State shows a lack of optimism about the future. The new Crosscut/Elway Poll finds fewer than half expect things to get better over the next year in their communities, the state or the country.

The voter outlook index measures how people feel about home and communities

It's called the “voter outlook index”-and it's set to measure how people feel about the future of their households, communities, state and country. The poll shows the lowest it’s been since the summer of 2011. 60% of voters asked in the survey say they feel good about their own households but only 48% say the same about their communities, 47% for the state, and just 43% for the country.

Economics issues are among the top concerns for state residents

The biggest concern for voters? Economic issues such as inflation, named by nearly one-third as the most important issue for the Legislature to accomplish this year. The poll also shows "as the pandemic enters its third year, 23% of voters said it was their top concern-down almost 30 points from the same time last year. More than three-quarters of respondents said they knew someone who had contracted COVID, up from 55% a year ago."
The poll was conducted Dec. 26-28, 2021 with 400 registered voters living throughout Washington state.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]