How to Underwhelm The People

The new Republican-led Congress is drawing harsh reviews from the public – including most Republicans. Just 23% of Americans say congressional Republicans are keeping the promises they made during last fall’s campaign, while 65% say they are not.

And yet they don’t really care what you think either…

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Nearly four-in-ten (37%) say the new Congress has accomplished less than they expected, while 4% say it has accomplished more than expected. About half (53%) say its accomplishments are in line with what they expected.

Well, The Republicans have caved on basically everything so not much has changed has it?

On both measures, the public’s views are far more negative than they were of the Democratic-led Congress in March 2007, after the Democrats regained control of both chambers following several years of Republican control. Views are also much more negative than they were in April 1995, shortly after the GOP had gained control of the House and Senate for the first time in four decades.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 12-18 among 2,002 adults, finds that just 22% approve of the job performance of Republican congressional leaders, little changed since the summer of 2011. Ratings for Democratic congressional leaders are somewhat better (33% approve).

Republicans Are Critical of the New Congress and its LeadersUnlike after some previous partisan turnovers on Capitol Hill, negative assessments of the new Congress now cross party lines. Today, just 41% of Republicans approve of the job their party’s leaders in Congress are doing. By comparison, in April 2011, 60% of Republicans approved of GOP leaders’ job performance and in April 1995, 78% approved of GOP leadership’s policies and proposals.

And just 37% of Republicans say their party’s leaders are keeping their campaign promises, while 53% say they are not. In 2011, after the party won its House majority, 54% said GOP leaders were keeping promises. And in April 1995 — as the Republican-led Congress hit the 100-day milestone — fully 80% of Republicans said this.

Democrats were also relatively upbeat about their party’s leaders at the 100-day mark in 2007, when 60% said Democratic leaders were keeping their campaign promises.

Currently, Republicans (36%) are about as likely as Democrats (38%) or independents (38%) to say Congress is accomplishing less than they expected.

Public evaluations of the congressional leadership of both parties remain negative. Today, just a third (33%) say they approve of the job Democratic leaders are doing, while even fewer (22%) say they approve of GOP Congressional leadership.

Ratings for the Congressional leadership of both parties have been relatively stable over the past few years. Though the job approval ratings of both GOP and Democratic leadership rose slightly earlier this year, current ratings are now on par with attitudes last spring.

While the overall ratings of Republican congressional leaders over the last few months have dropped a modest four points, Republican ratings of their own party’s leadership have moved in a significantly negative direction over the first few months of a GOP-controlled Congress.

Today, more Republicans say they disapprove (55%) than approve (41%) of the Republican congressional leadership’s job performance. In February, Republican evaluations were more positive (50% of Republicans approved of the GOP leadership’s job performance, 44% disapproved). And this shift in opinion is primarily seen among conservative Republicans: 54% approved of GOP congressional leaders’ job performance in February, today just 41% approve. By contrast, Democratic views of their party’s congressional leadership are substantially more positive and are little changed over this time. Currently 60% of Democrats approve of the job performance of Democratic leaders, while 35% disapprove.

Independent views of the two parties largely track those of the overall public: Just 19% approve of GOP leaders’ job performance, while 27% approve of Democratic congressional leadership.

While the overall ratings of Republican congressional leaders over the last few months have dropped a modest four points, Republican ratings of their own party’s leadership have moved in a significantly negative direction over the first few months of a GOP-controlled Congress.

Today, more Republicans say they disapprove (55%) than approve (41%) of the Republican congressional leadership’s job performance. In February, Republican evaluations were more positive (50% of Republicans approved of the GOP leadership’s job performance, 44% disapproved). And this shift in opinion is primarily seen among conservative Republicans: 54% approved of GOP congressional leaders’ job performance in February, today just 41% approve. By contrast, Democratic views of their party’s congressional leadership are substantially more positive and are little changed over this time. Currently 60% of Democrats approve of the job performance of Democratic leaders, while 35% disapprove.

Independent views of the two parties largely track those of the overall public: Just 19% approve of GOP leaders’ job performance, while 27% approve of Democratic congressional leadership.

By contrast, Democrats are more positive about their own party’s performance on these three issues than are Republicans. About six-in-ten Democrats and Democratic leaners (62%) say the Democratic Party is doing a good job representing their views on same-sex marriage, while just 30% say they are not doing a good job. Views are more mixed when it comes to illegal immigration and government spending. Overall, 51% of Democrats say their party is doing a good job on the issue of illegal immigration, compared with 43% who say they are not doing a good job. On the issue of government spending, as many Democrats say their party is doing a good job representing their views on the issue (47%) as say it is not doing a good job (47%). Democratic views have shown little change on these measures since the questions were last asked in September 2014.

And amid debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade proposal, 39% of respondents say they approve of Obama’s handling of international trade, while 44% say they disapprove; 17% do not offer a rating of his performance on trade.

But the Republicans want to pass it anyways!

That’s why “Jar Jar” Boehner and his Dumber Cousin are the Democrats best hope for a complete takeover of Congress and the Monarchy for Queen Hillary.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley
Political Cartoons by Steve Breen
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