WaPo-ABC Poll: More Than Half Dislike Own Congress Member

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 09:07 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Voters' opinions of their own lawmakers have sunk to a new low, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Tuesday.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said they disapprove of the job their congressional member is doing, the first time the level has gone above 50 percent in the 25 years of Post-ABC polling on this question, The Washington Post reports.

Only 41 percent approve, also a new low, The Post reports, dipping below the 43 percent approval mark in an October survey after the 16-day partial government shutdown.

The poll finds Democrats come out slightly ahead of the GOP in voters' views, with 49 percent holding favorable opinions of the Democratic Party and 35 percent having a favorable view of the Republicans.

In 1998, when the public gave a 72 percent approval rating to their own member of Congress, 98 percent of incumbents won re-election, a Vital Statistis on Congress analysis found.

In 2010, an October Post-ABC poll found only 51 percent approving of their members, The Post noted; 85 percent of incumbents won re-election in November 2010.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Meanwhile, an NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey Tuesday found that six in 10 Americans are fed up with the economy, more than 70 percent think the country is headed in the wrong direction, and nearly 80 percent are down on the country's political system.

The same poll finds President Barack Obama's overall approval rating sinking to a new low at 40 percent, and just 14 percent of the public giving Congress a thumbs-up.

"We're in the summer of our discontent," Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, told NBC News.

"Americans are cranky, unhappy . . . It is with everything going on the world."

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