WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Although House lawmakers are home for their August recess, a new poll finds – for the first time in the Washington Post-ABC News survey’s history – that a majority of Americans would prefer that they don’t return to work at all.

Over half of the Americans surveyed, 51 percent, say they disapprove of the job that their own member of Congress is doing in Washington. The increase above the 50 percent mark happened for the first time in the Post-ABC poll’s quarter-century history. The poll reflects an all-time low level of approval for members of Congress, although approval was only at 43 percent last October.

When asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way your own representative to the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress is handling his or her job?” 41 percent said they approve and 51 percent said they disapprove.

In response to whether respondents have a “favorable or unfavorable impression of the Democratic Party?” 49 percent said favorable and 46 percent said unfavorable.

And Republicans fared far worse: 60 percent of those polled said they have an “unfavorable” view of the Republican Party compared to just 35 percent who said they have a favorable impression of GOP lawmakers.

Partisan divides remained wide, with loyalty to each party holding solid majorities. Fully 85 percent of Democrats have favorable opinions of their own party and 79 percent of Republicans are also favorable of their own party. Independents, however, expressed distaste for both parties with 61 percent disapproving of Republicans and 50 percent disapproving of Democrats.

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 69 percent of people would like to see most members of Congress lose their seat, but only 36 percent said that of their own representative.

Despite the record low numbers, the Post predicts that the “vast majority of officeholders” are expected to win re-election in November.


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