The Republicans’ lead over Democrats on the generic congressional ballot is the widest in nearly a decade, as The Free Press reported Sunday.
The Gallup organization helps explain why.
The Democrat-controlled Congress has an approval rating of just 18 percent, Gallup reported on Friday, citing its latest poll on the issue.
That’s dropped from a 36 percent positive rating since last March. Last spring, Congress garnered its highest approval rating since 2009.
A big chuck on that collapse happened just last month. In December, 23 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Congress.
Gallup attributed the overall plunge last month, as well as over the past 10 months, to unhappy Democrats.
“The latest five-percentage-point decline in congressional approval is largely attributed to a 10-point decline among Democrats whose frustration appears to be mounting with their party’s senators and representatives who hold majorities in both houses of Congress,” Gallup noted.
“When one party controls both houses of Congress, approval of the legislative branch tends to be higher among partisans associated with the majority party than those whose party is in the minority. This was the case last year when rank-and-file Democrats buoyed congressional approval as the 117th Congress was convened,” Gallup added.
“Democrats’ approval of Congress rose 50 points between December 2020 and February 2021 when it peaked at 61%. … Democrats’ approval remained high after the American Rescue Plan coronavirus relief law was passed in March.”
“However, by June, when Congress failed to pass President Joe Biden‘s infrastructure package by his Memorial Day deadline, Democrats’ rating of the body fell below the majority level,” Gallup continued.
“After a brief rally above 50% in August and September, Democrats’ approval of Congress fell as infighting among Democratic legislators held up passage of Biden’s climate change and social spending bill. With Biden’s legislative agenda still stalled, Democrats’ latest 26% approval of the legislative branch is the lowest it has been in a year.”
Likely not surprising, as Democrats flail and fail, Republicans are relatively happier with Congress than they’ve been in months.
Gallup reports that GOP respondents gave Congress an approval rating of 9 percent – which is up from 5 percent in October.
“With the midterm elections less than 10 months away, pressure is mounting on Democratic legislators to deliver for their constituents,” Gallup concluded.
“Democrats may be vulnerable as approval of the Democratically controlled 117th Congress is at its lowest point, and recent legislative failures, including the inability to pass social spending, climate change, and voting rights bills have frustrated their party’s base.”
Republicans can only hope that their opponents’ base stays frustrated. And perhaps Republicans could promise a return to the “good old days.”
Gallup noted that between 1990 and 2005, a period when the GOP controlled Congress for 10 of those years, congressional job approval averaged 42 percent, more than double what it is today.
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