The pessimism is largely fueled by rising gasoline prices, the newspaper said in a report on the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll -- which found 77 percent of those surveyed said they were uneasy about the state of the economy.
The Journal said current data showed new-home sales and factory orders are strong, but two-thirds of those polled said the nation is "on the wrong track."
The poll found President George W. Bush's approval rating has fallen to 36 percent and Congress' approval rating is 22 percent.
In New Orleans Thursday, Bush was asked by NBC News about his falling poll numbers.
"I've been up in the polls and I've been down in the polls," Bush said, "but I'm going to continue to do what's right for the country."
"What they're telling you is, they want change on every front," said Hart.