Pollster says shutdown has highlighted workers living paycheck to paycheck

Pollster Dan Cox said on Tuesday that the partial government shutdown has drawn attention to the number of Americans living without a financial safety net.

"We often forget that a lot of Americans are still paycheck to paycheck," Cox, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking." "The shutdown, I think, is highlighting that in a way." 

"Seventy-eight percent of Americans are paycheck to paycheck, so there's a lot of economic security and anxiety just below the surface, even when the macro indicators are sort of showing a healthy economy," he said. 

The government shutdown, which has left thousands of federal workers either unpaid or furloughed, is currently in its fifth week with no apparent end in sight. 

The shutdown has resulted in federal workers not injecting as much money into the economy, as well as more volatility in the stock market.  

According to a new Gallup survey, the number of Americans who say the economy is doing "better" has dropped 13 points over the last two months. 

Forty-eight percent of respondents now say that economic conditions are worsening, according to the poll. 

— Julia Manchester