By\u00a0Ross Ramsey\r\nTexas voters don\u2019t like the way things are going in the U.S. and most don\u2019t think their kids will have it better than they do, according to\u00a0a Texas Lyceum poll\u00a0framed around voters\u2019 outlook for the rest of the decade.\r\nSeven months before the next general election, Texans are grumpy, concerned about economic issues like inflation and housing, unhappy with the direction of the country, and somewhat happier with the direction of the state itself.\r\nMany of their biggest concerns potentially set up an election that\u2019s more about economic matters than about the social and cultural issues that have dominated some of the primary and runoff election debates so far this year.\r\nAnd the polling, aside from detailing what voters are cranky about, is also something of a roadmap for lawmakers looking to work on big stuff, like roads, housing, health care, border security, jobs, and the economy.\r\nTwo in five Texans cited economic concerns as the most important issues facing the U.S. \u2014 concerns that include the economy in general, inflation and rising prices, and energy\/gas prices. That\u2019s a top issue for about a quarter of the voters when asked about problems facing the state.\r\nWhat\u2019s more, only 27% said they believe their children will be better off than they are, while 35% said the kids will be worse off.\r\nA large group of voters said opportunities for homeownership are \u201cpoor\u201d or \u201cterrible\u201d where they live. More than half said they spend too much of their income on housing.\r\nTwo-thirds said the national economy is worse off than it was a year ago; only half as many said the state economy was worse than a year ago.\r\nPeople living in rural areas were more likely to say their local economy was either \u201cpoor\u201d or \u201cterrible\u201d (39%) than voters in suburban (24%) and urban (25%) areas, according to the poll.\r\nThis political year has already shaped up as an obstacle course for Texas Democrats. The parties of incumbent presidents regularly suffer in midterm elections, and Joe Biden is particularly unpopular in Texas right now.\r\nRepublican legislative majorities drew new political maps for the Legislature and the congressional delegation that \u2014 surprise, surprise \u2014 favor Republicans.\r\nAnd it\u2019s evident in the numbers that voters are less gloomy about the economy and outlook for the state than for the country. You can read that as the beginning of a political blame game that seats current problems in Washington rather than in Austin, and harder on the Democratic government there than on the Republican government in Texas.\r\nBut if anyone in politics is still interested, voters are telling them a lot about what needs to be addressed after November\u2019s elections. Only 31% of Texas voters say the reliability and cost of electricity is either \u201cpoor\u201d or \u201cterrible.\u201d The majority \u2014 54% \u2014 say it\u2019s \u201cgood\u201d and 13% say it\u2019s \u201cexcellent.\u201d On balance, that\u2019s good for incumbents, but the naysayers are numerous enough to push for change.\r\nThat\u2019s true, too, for transportation in Texas: 28% are \u201cunsatisfied\u201d with the quality of the state\u2019s roads. Nearly half of the state\u2019s rural residents said their roads are either \u201cpoor\u201d or \u201cterrible.\u201d\r\nPolling like that offers some ideas for the political class that\u2019s tangled in primary runoffs and, later this year, in a general election. Here\u2019s what\u2019s popular and with which voters, and here\u2019s what\u2019s not.\r\nBut it\u2019s also got some clues for the lawmakers those politicians hope to become. In the 2018 elections, it was clear that voters wanted some work done on education and how public schools are financed. They scared the ruling class, and 2019 saw some sweeping changes.\r\nIt\u2019s always possible for voters to change the tune.\r\nThis story was originally published by the Texas Tribune.