Latest Polls Reveal Significant Political, Financial Pessimism In U.S.

With all the recent wrangling going on in Washington, D.C., over the national debt, and the continuing economic crisis, I was curious to find out how my fellow Americans viewed all this. A number of polls from the last several days reveal they harbor a good deal of political and financial pessimism. From FOX News’ Dana Blanton yesterday:

After prolonged and painstaking negotiations on raising the nation’s debt limit, Congress receives its lowest job approval rating ever in a Fox News poll.

Only 10 percent of American voters approve of the lawmakers’ performance, according to Fox’s most recent poll, which was released Wednesday. That’s down from an already unimpressive 20 percent approval rating in June.

The previous record low was 13 percent in October 2008, around the time Congress passed TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) in response to the subprime mortgage crisis.

In the new poll 81 percent of voters disapprove of the job Congress is doing — also a record.

Disapproval is high across the board, as Democrats (78 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (86 percent) alike give Congress bad marks.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

This low Congressional approval rating mirrors the findings of a CNN/ORC International poll conducted August 1. From the CNN website on August 2:

The overall approval rating for Congress, now at 14 percent, is at an all-time low. Sixty-eight percent of respondents disapprove of how the Republican leaders in Congress handled the debt ceiling, 63 percent disapprove of Democratic leadership and 53 percent disapprove of President Obama’s role in the agreement.

Obama’s overall approval rating holds steady at 45 percent, but his support among liberals, at 71 percent, remains at a record low and more than half of all Democrats say he gave up too much in the debt ceiling deal. Just one-third of Republicans polled said their party’s leaders gave up too much in the agreement.

Turing to the U.S. economy, Reuters’ Steve Holland wrote on the MSNBC website last night:

Economic fears are weighing heavily on Americans, with a large majority saying the United States is on the wrong track and nearly half believing the worst is yet to come, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said Wednesday…

President Barack Obama was politically bruised in the brutal, weeks-long debt debate, and negative views on the economy are worrisome signs for his 2012 re-election bid.

His approval rating dropped to 45 percent from 49 percent a month ago, according to the poll conducted from Thursday to Monday…

The Reuters/Ipsos poll found 73 percent of Americans believe the United States is “off on the wrong track,” and just one in five, 21 percent, think the country is headed in the right direction.

The survey found that 47 percent believe “the worst is yet to come” in the U.S. economy, an increase of 13 percentage points from a year ago when this question was last raised.

This is the highest measure since March 2009, when concern peaked at 57 percent, at the height of the recession.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Interpreting the results of an August 4-7 USA Today/Gallup poll, Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones pointed out Tuesday that Congress could be in for another major shake-up and President Obama should be concerned about his re-election. Jones wrote:

About one in five U.S. registered voters (21%) say most members of Congress deserve re-election, the lowest percentage Gallup has found in the 20-year history of asking this question. The prior lows of 28% were recorded in 2010 and earlier this year.

The percentage who say most members of Congress deserve re-election is slightly higher, 24%, among the larger population of national adults than among the eligible voting electorate…

The poll finds voters about evenly divided as to whether President Barack Obama deserves re-election, with 47% saying he does and 50% saying he does not. Those figures are unchanged compared with May of this year, but better than Gallup measured last October.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

With so much at stake, the November 2012 election is shaping up to be another nasty contest.

Oh joy.


Blanton, Dana. “Fox News Poll: Record Low 10 Percent Approve of Congress.” FOX News. 10 Aug. 2011. ( 11 Aug. 2011.

“CNN/ORC Poll: Most Americans dislike debt deal, think lawmakers acted like ‘spoiled children’” 2 Aug. 2011. ( 11 Aug. 2011.

Holland, Steve. “Poll: Most say US is on the wrong track.” Reuters. 10 Aug. 2011. ( 11 Aug. 2011.

Jones, Jeffrey M. “Record-Low 21% Say Most in Congress Deserve Re-Election.” 9 Aug. 2011. ( 11 Aug. 2011.

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Thursday, August 11th, 2011 Government, Main Street, Political Parties

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