Article Photos: Mood of the Nation: Some optimism amid struggles 2/5

  In this Oct. 23, 2012, photo, Hilda Mitrani, 51, of North Miami Beach, Fla., poses by her home in Miami. Mitrani has a marketing consulting company and is among many feeling squeezed by a painfully sluggish economic rebound. Unemployment remains high at 7.8 percent. Average pay trails inflation. And the economy is growing too slowly to accelerate hiring. Polls consistently find that the economy is the top concern of voters, and Romney tends to get an edge over Obama when people are asked who might do better with it. Whether that truly drives how Americans vote is a crucial question for Election Day. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)