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June 13, 2007

Congressional Approval Ratings Tank

I'm not a big fan of polls, but there have been so many on the left who have trumpeted Bush's low approval ratings that I just had to report on this.

Fueled by disappointment at the pace of change since Democrats assumed the majority on Capitol Hill, public approval of Congress has fallen to its lowest level in more than a decade, according to a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll.

Just 27% of Americans now approve of the way Congress is doing its job, the poll found, down from 36% in January, when Democrats assumed control of the House and the Senate.

And 63% of Americans say that the new Democratic Congress is governing in a "business as usual" manner, rather than working to bring the fundamental change that party leaders promised after November's midterm election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), the first woman to hold that position, has also failed to impress many Americans. Only 36% approve of the way she is handling the job, the poll found.

In contrast, 46% of Americans in the current poll said they approved of the way Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia handled the job after he led the GOP into the majority in 1994.

Live by the poll, die by the poll.

Frankly, the Gingrich number surprises me. Perhaps the emotions of the time, and the awful press coverage ("The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas", indeed) have ebbed so that folks are looking more objectively, and comparatively to what's happening now. Or perhaps it's just they've forgotten their specific qualms with Newt. But really, to have the general public looking more fondly of the Gingrich past than the Pelosi / Reid present doesn't speak well of the Democrats.

Again, polls like this don't mean much to me. I want a President or Congressman to lead, not follow the polls. But I've had Bush's poll numbers used as some sort of argument against him, so I just thought these numbers worth noting.

Posted by Doug at June 13, 2007 12:38 PM

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I wonder why you aren't hearing much about this from the mainstream press...Maybe it doesn't fit their agenda and so somehow it is not newsworthy yet if a poll showed Bush's numbers dropping it would be all over the place. When did news turn from news to editorial?

Posted by: Matt Dabbs at June 19, 2007 12:01 AM

Well, since the 1960s, I think. Walter Cronkite really got that ball rolling.

My own realization of it was when they were reporting approval ratings for the Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. They had never done that before, but started after the Gingrich revolution.

And yes, now that Congress' numbers are lower than the highly-touted Presidential numbers, nothing. It doesn't fit the narrative.

Posted by: Doug Payton at June 19, 2007 09:08 AM