"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Congress, More Unpopular Than Ever

According to a recent Gallup poll, Congress got a whopping 18% approval rating. That makes President Bush seem like a rock star in comparison. In the 33 years since Gallup first started the poll Congressional ratings have only been this low one other time, and that was in the early 90s when the House banking scandal came to light. The president’s approval rating, while low at 32%, gives him quite a leg up on Congress. Of course the press won’t play it that way, so all we’ll ever hear about is a “deeply unpopular president.”

One interesting aspect of the poll is that the Democrats are loosing support from their own:

Frustration with Congress spans the political spectrum. There are only minor (but not statistically meaningful) differences in the approval ratings Democrats (21%), Republicans (18%), and independents (17%) give to Congress. Typically, partisans view Congress much more positively when their party is in control of the institution, so the fact that Democrats' ratings are not materially better than Republicans' is notable.

The nine-point drop in Congress' job approval rating from last month to this month has come exclusively from Democrats and independents, with Democrats' ratings dropping 11 points (from 32% to 21%) and independents' ratings dropping 13 points (from 30% to 17%). Republicans' 18% approval rating is unchanged from last month.


If you’ll remember back in November Republicans lost control of Congress because of lukewarm support from their base and Independents moving toward Democrats. They have now lost that advantage. I love the irony here, because in the campaign Democrats were withering in their criticism of the Republican Congress, but they offered no alternative other than how rotten Republicans are so vote for us. Now it seems that most Americans think the Democrats are rotten too.

Now what? If Republicans would simply go back to 1994, remember what they stood for when they took control of Congress, and govern that way again this Democrat Congress will be short lived.

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