With all the countdown for November’s presidential election now well under way, polls show voters are upset, although Americans are generally known for having a positive outlook on life. This may explain the success of non-mainstream candidates like Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump. But what’s fuelling the frustration?

A CNN/ORC poll completed in December 2015 proposes 69% of Americans are either “quite mad” or “somewhat angry” about “the way things are going” in the US.And exactly the same percentage – 69% – are mad because the political system “appears to just be working for the insiders with money and power, like those on Wall Street or in Washington,” according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll from November.Many folks are not only mad, they are more furious than they were a year ago, according to an NBC/Esquire survey last month – particularly Republicans (61%) and white people (54%) but also 42% of Democrats, 43% of Latinos and 33% of African Americans.

Nominees have felt the disposition and so are adopting the rhetoric. Donald Trump, who has arguably tapped into voters’ frustration better than some other candidate, says he is “very, very upset” and will “happily accept the mantle of wrath” while competition Republican Ben Carson says he’s encountered “many Americans that are discouraged and upset as they watch the American dream slipping away”.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says: “I am upset and millions of Americans are mad,” while Hillary Clinton says she “realizes why folks get furious”.

Here are five reasons why some voters feel the American dream is in tatters.