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CHICAGO (AP) — On the eve of the 2012 elections, The Associated Press interviewed dozens of Americans to try to gauge the economic mood of the nation. People were asked about jobs, housing, gas prices, retirement and other issues. Among them were a Chicago couple: Adrienne Cragnotti, 46, and Mike Eiler, 41. She’s a self-employed photographer; he’s an unemployed former copy editor. Despite career setbacks and a declining living standard, Cragnotti and Eiler remain optimistic.

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