WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A recent Gallup Poll has found that just 12 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress has been doing.
The figure is a mere three points up from the all-time low of 9 percent, those involved in polling noted in a release on its findings.
“The record-low reading last November came on the heels of Congress’ inability to pass a budget plan, which in turn resulted in the government shutdown,” the release additionally indicated. “Approval ratings are up slightly from that nadir, but appear to have settled down at continued low levels.”
Democrats were said to be especially frustrated, with only 7 percent of liberals approving of the job Congress has done. Independents were not much happier, as just 9 percent of them expressed approval of the performance of Congressional leaders.
A much larger portion of Republicans – 23 percent – said they were pleased with Congress. However, despite Gallup’s findings, two of Washington’s most aggressive political organizations outlined conservative agendas that, from health care to federal budgets, run counter to a strategy preferred by Republican congressional leaders.
Tea Party-styled leaders vowed to prevail over moderates in the party and longtime politicians.
“Americans are frustrated because their priorities are not the priorities of Washington,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican freshman from Texas and a Tea Party leader, said at Heritage Action for America, a Washington organization that agitated for last year’s government shutdown. “This cuts across party lines.”
That churning resentment could be a boon for conservative candidates, especially those looking to take on incumbent lawmakers from their own party.
At the same time, conservatives said the party needs to present policy proposals that can help form an alternative to President Barack Obama’s second term and win over voters. Panels at a day-long summit at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank linked to Heritage Action, focused on alternatives to Democrats’ national health care law and federal social welfare programs.
Conservatives are also facing established GOP leaders like House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who has said tea party sympathizers have credibility problems stemming from their cut-it-or-shut-it resistance to compromise on weighty national issues.
They’ll have that chance for choices in November, when the full House and a third of the Senate will be up for grabs – and researchers at Gallup feel that people throughout the United States will take advantage of the opportunity afforded to them by the midterm elections.
“Americans continue to have low opinions of the job their elected representatives in Congress are doing, one of a number of measures reflecting the general displeasure the nation’s citizens have for their government right now,” the release noted. “All members of the House and about a third of the Senate are up for re-election this November, but with control of these two bodies in the hands of different parties, it remains difficult to predict how Americans’ negative feelings will affect their decisions in the voting booth.”
The poll was conducted between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9 of this year, and involved 1,023 randomly selected American adults.
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