WASHINGTON — People think the Democratic-led Congress is doing just as dreary a job as President Bush, following four months of bitter political standoffs and little progress on Iraq and a host of domestic issues.
An AP-Ipsos poll also found that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a more popular figure than the president and her colleagues on Capitol Hill, though she faces a gender gap in which significantly more women than men support her.
The survey found only 35 percent approve of how Congress is handling its job, down 5 percentage points in a month. That gives lawmakers the same bleak approval rating as Bush, who has been mired at about that level since last fall, including his dip to a record low for the AP-Ipsos poll of 32 percent last January.
"It's mostly Iraq" plus a lack of progress in other areas, said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who heads the House GOP's campaign committee. "These are not good numbers for an incumbent, and it doesn't matter if you have an 'R' or a 'D' next to your name."
Democrats agree that the problem is largely Iraq, which has dominated this year's session of Congress while producing little more than this month's Bush veto of a bill requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops. It has also overshadowed House-passed bills on stem cell research, student loans and other subjects that the White House opposes, they say.
"People are unhappy, there hasn't been a lot of change in direction, for example in Iraq," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of House Democrats' campaign effort.
Rising gasoline prices could also be a factor, lawmakers said.
In another measure of popular discontent, the survey found that 71 percent say the country is on the wrong track — about even with the 73 percent who said so last May, the worst level since the AP-Ipsos poll began in December 2003.
The survey was taken Monday through Wednesday, before Bush offered to seek compromise with congressional Democrats over a war spending bill setting benchmarks for progress in Iraq.
Bush told reporters Thursday that if pollsters had asked his opinion about Iraq last fall, "I'd have said I disapprove of what was going on in Iraq. They could have put me down as part of the disapproval process."
That was before his decision to send nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, which "would more likely cause me to approve of what's going on in Iraq," he added.
Overall approval of Bush was steady from last month, but fell to 69 percent among Republicans, about 7 percentage points below where it had been in April. Earlier this week, a group of GOP moderate House members warned Bush that the status quo in Iraq could mean Republican election losses next year.
"If the war doesn't begin to turn around, Republicans will have problems," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who said he supports Bush's Iraq policy.
White House spokesman Tony Snow declined to comment on the poll.
Congress' approval rating this week was 10 points higher than a year ago, when Republicans were in control.
But after bumping up in April, this month's drop left lawmakers' job approval where it was when the year began. April saw Congress defy Bush and send him a bill financing the war and requiring a troop withdrawal, which he vetoed May 1.
"People wanted change in Washington" on many issues, not just Iraq, said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., a member of the House Democratic leadership. "I'm not surprised about where people are. They're hearing only about Iraq."
Congress' reduced appeal was evident in several categories of people. Only 48 percent of Democrats said they approved of Congress, down from 55 percent last month. That included a 12 percentage point drop among Democratic women, though support from Democratic men remained steady.
Approval by minorities also fell a dozen points to 39 percent, with a similar reduction among people whose family incomes exceed $75,000.
By region, the steepest drop was in the Midwest, where approval fell by 10 percentage points to 28 percent. Congress' highest approval was in the Northeast, where four in ten gave it a positive rating.
As for Pelosi, D-Calif., her overall approval of 45 percent stood 10 points higher than Bush's and Congress'.
She was seen favorably by 52 percent of women, but only 39 percent of men. While whites are closely split about her, minorities approve of her job by a 15-point margin.
Pelosi's numbers are about where she was last month but slightly lower than in January. In the last month, she has lost significant support from younger voters, college-educated women and Westerners.
"Voters are frustrated by the fact that the president refuses to change direction on Iraq," said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.
Bush's approval ratings are lowest for his handling of Iraq and domestic issues including health care, with about one-third seeing him favorably. About four in 10 like the job he is doing on the economy and foreign policy.
Men give the president higher grades than women do, whites higher than minorities, and married people higher than singles.
The AP-Ipsos survey involved telephone interviews with 1,000 adults. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
AP Manager of News Surveys Trevor Tompson and AP News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report. [/QUOTE]
I just spent too much time reading this AP trash...and in the end, in now way does the article support the title of this thread. Not that that is important, since the reading/reasoning comprehension of the average American is quite poor. I would bet that the author figured that after reading the title, most would stop reading.
Funny thing is, it's not surprising....I'm sure Democrat's aren't happy, but then again, neither are Republicans because when elected, Republicans fail to do what they said they were going to do prior to being elected.
People talk about the level of 'partisianship' getting worse...and that only makes sense too (and it's a damn shame) because as we cede more and more power to the Federal government over our lives it becomes that much more important to be on the side in power.
The feds were never intended to be the 'end all' solution to everyday problems...as Jefferson (who would be a modern day Democrat) said:
[quote]" And I do verily believe, that if the principle were to prevail, of a common law being in force in the U S, (which principle possesses the general government at once of all the powers of the state governments, and reduces us to a single consolidated government,) it would become the most corrupt government on the earth...[/quote]
What did the Congress (and the citizens) think would happen when they coopted responsibility for more and more of people's lives? You cannot please everyone...Hell, it's hard for me to please everyone in my family of four.
It was a metaphor, Chris...
Umm...no, it's not. It is a gross misrepresentation of the contents of the article which contains information that people are fed up with both congress and the POTUS, so both parties are involved.
You spent some time coming up with little pictures to criticize my characterization of the thread title, but didn't spend any replying to my point that disappointment in the government as a whole is to be expected when it has assumed power over significant portions of your daily life.
You posted this for a reason, and I doubt it was to debate the substance of the title.
What's your point other than indicate that Republicans suck in the thread title?
[QUOTE=Jets Babe]you forgot to mention they disprove of the Democratic led congress (legislative branch), which, essentially, is the most important branch of the government.[/QUOTE]
eewwww you just lost hottie points.... :(