April 14, 2010
by Bruce Drake
Nearly seven out of 10 likely voters in this year’s election disapprove of the job that Congress has been doing this year, and both parties on Capitol Hill get almost equally high negatives, according to a George Washington University Battleground poll conducted April 5-8.
Sixty-eight percent overall disapprove of the performance of Congress, with 59 percent saying they “strongly” disapprove. Twenty-five percent approve and 11 percent are undecided.
Fifty-seven percent disapprove of the job congressional Democrats are doing and 59 percent disapprove of the performance of congressional Republicans.
Asked whether they would vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate in their district, 41 percent chose the Republican and 40 percent chose the Democrat, with 18 percent undecided. Two polls released yesterday came up with different results. Gallup said the Republicans held a 48 percent to 44 percent advantage on a generic congressional ballot while CNN/Opinion Research had the Democrats ahead, 50 percent to 46 percent.
Obama fared better than lawmakers, with 50 percent approving of his performance and 36 percent disapproving, with 7 percent undecided. But as a mark of how intense some of the opposition to him is, 40 percent put themselves in the camp of “strongly” disapproving of his performance.
When it came to who voters thought would better handle a range of issues, the Republicans tended to come out on top of both congressional Democrats and Obama on controlling wasteful spending, controlling the deficit, holding down taxes and promoting a strong national defense.
Voters put more faith in congressional Democrats on turning the economy around, reforming health care, promoting energy independence, creating jobs, and reforming Wall Street. They also came out on top by 45 percent to 40 percent on which party voters felt shared their values and by 41 percent to 32 percent when it came to “getting things done.” The balance of voters either gave the same marks to both parties, said they didn’t think either party would do better or were undecided.
The results were somewhat the same when the choice was between Obama and congressional Republicans, but Obama did not do as well as Democratic lawmakers on some of the measures. On turning the economy around, Obama and Hill Republicans were statistically tied, with Obama leading 42 percent to 41 percent, while congressional Democrats had a five-point advantage. The same was true on the “sharing your values” question, where Obama edged Republicans by only 44 percent to 32 percent, compared to the five-point advantage enjoyed by congressional Democrats.