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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Poll numbers released by NBC and the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday find congressional disapproval at an all-time high, and that voters are pessimistic and uncertain about the remainder of President Obama’s term.

The poll shows Congress has become so unpopular that a staggering 83 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’ job performance; 57 percent of American voters would like to replace every member of Congress, according to the poll. The poll also shows Obama’s overall approval rating dropped three points to 45 percent, although it’s within the poll’s margin of error. A 45 percent approval rating for Obama is the lowest the president’s approval rating has been since the 2011 debt-ceiling debacle. The decline mirrors the results of several other polls that have been released this week.

President Obama has lost support in demographic groups that previously supported him at extremely high rates. Obama’s approval among African-Americans has dropped to 78 percent, according to the poll. Earlier this year, a far larger majority of African-Americans supported the president: 93 percent in April and 88 percent in June.

The poll, however, shows that the tactics employed by Republicans in Congress have become increasingly unpopular.

Although the president’s health care law remains unpopular (34 percent believe it’s a good idea), the poll shows a 51 percent majority believes Republicans in Congress should stop trying to block the law.

Republican attitudes in the immigration debate also did not poll well — 44 percent of those polled believe that if Congress does not come to an agreement on an immigration bill, congressional Republicans should be blamed, 21 percent believe President Obama would be to blame, and just 14 percent believe Democrats in Congress would be to blame. Furthermore, 59 percent believe Republicans who say immigration reform must wait until the border is secure do so to block reform.

Despite the unpopularity of congressional Republicans on these issues, the poll suggests neither party has a clear advantage in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections — 44 percent of voters would like to see a Democratic-led Congress, while an identical 44 percent would like to see a Republican majority. But, a look back to the 2010 midterm election may provide some clues to 2014.

Prior to the 2010 midterm elections, the Democratic-controlled Congress was almost twice as popular as Congress is today. Gallup poll figures show that even after Congress passed Obama’s health care legislation, their approval rating was at 23 percent in April 2010. With a 23 percent approval rating, Democrats were trounced in the 2010 midterms — Republicans gained more House seats in the 2010 midterms than any party had in the previous 50 years; for the first time since 1982, when exit polls first began measuring congressional support, Republicans won a majority of female voters.

With a record 83 percent of voters who disapprove of Congress’s job performance, it’s safe to say Congress could look drastically different after next year’s midterm elections.

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  • Lynda Groom

    Considering todays announcement of the new cuts that the GOP insists upon, members of Congress apparently believe their poll numbers are not low enough. How low can they go is anybody’s guess. Is it possible to poll negative numbers? If so this clown show in on the way.

  • Dominick Vila

    Considering the obsession on spending reductions in areas that benefit the middle class and the poor, at a time when the Federal government deficit is going down, the low approval rating of Congress is not surprising. Our economy is well on its path to full recovery, the unemployment rate has been dropping, and government revenues have been increasing. If Congress wants to expedite recovery and the ultimate goal of a balanced budget and debt reductions, why don’t they eliminate the loopholes that allow the wealthiest members of our society to accumulate more wealth? Why don’t they end subsidies to corporations that are already posting record profits? Why don’t they go after banks that don’t seem to have learned the root causes of the mess that brought our economy to the verge of collapse in 2008? Why don’t we limit foreign aid to countries afflicted by famine and disease, and stop foreign aid (economic and military) to countries that can afford to pay for what they need?
    Spending reductions is not the answer, if the goal is to achieve long term prosperity. Our infrastructure is in desperate need of repair and modernization. Our education system and focus on education (college and/or trade) must improve or our ability to compete with other industrialized nations is likely to be compromised within the next few decades. Instead of fighting social programs, such as ACA, we must focus on how to improve them, not only to help all members of our society, but to reduce the burden that healthcare coverage represents for our business community. There are many ways to help us preserve our global hegemony, guarantee our national security, and help those who need help the most. The key to prosperity involves investment, elimination of inefficiencies and fraud, pursuing new technologies, concepts and more efficient processes, effective regulation, and education. Cutting programs that are already inadequate, and crusades, are not the way to go.

  • docb

    It is time the repub baggers used Merriam W and looked up ‘legislate’… They are the Do Nothing Dead Enders visiting ruin on the Nation with blind ignorance and vacuous lies.

    Call them out at their local offices daily..,They, under the repubs schedule, are to take AUGUST off… and not work but 9 DAYS in September! In the 1990’s the House had 40 to 45 moderate republicans that worked with slick their might be 2!

  • idamag

    Read “The Rise of American Democracy.” It chronicles our country from the revolution to Abraham Lincoln. Without a doubt, this is the worst Congress we have ever had.