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Republican Win Doesn't Excite US Public

Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 06:26 PM


The Republican Party may have excited conservatives when it won the House of Representatives in last week's elections but the general public is less than enthused, according to a poll released Thursday.

The subdued reaction among voters and nonvoters in the Pew Research Center poll contrasted with that found after the 2006 midterm elections in which Democrats regained control of Congress and the Republican victory in 1994 congressional elections.

The Pew survey found 48 percent of respondents happy with the Republican victory last week.

That compared with 60 percent who said in 2006 they were happy with the Democratic victory that year and the 57 percent who applauded in 1994 when Republicans took control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

"The nature of the victory itself is a little different because the Republicans this time only captured one chamber as opposed to the whole Congress," said Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew Research Center.

"One of the things that you see here is that we have seen these transitions of power before and they are happening more frequently and so it is not so novel," he said in a telephone interview.

The Republicans captured a solid majority in the House of Representatives but fell short in the Senate.

The struggling economy is weighing on the national mood as unemployment remains near 10 percent despite the official end of the recession. The downturn resulted partly from a crisis in the still struggling housing market.

The poll found lukewarm support for the Republican agenda, which is focused on deficit reduction and rolling back President Barack Obama's policies such as healthcare reform.

Forty-one percent of those polled approved of Republican policies and plans for the future, while 37 percent disapproved.

That compared with 50 percent approval for Democratic plans in 2006 and 52 percent approval for Republican policies in 1994.

The poll was conducted from Nov. 4-7 among 1,255 adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. (Editing by Greg McCune and Peter Cooney)

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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