Commentary Magazine


You Think Obama Has Poll Problems

Much has been written about Obama’s stark and speedy decline in the polls. However, voters like Congress even less. Politico notes:

The number of Americans who view Congress favorably has dipped to a 24-year low, according to a new Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll released Wednesday. Only 37 percent of those surveyed held a favorable view of Congress, down 13 percentage points since April, while 52 percent held an unfavorable view.

Rasmussen reports that 57 percent of voters would like to replace the entire Congress. Depending on the poll, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approval ratings range from the mid-30s to the high 20s. And Majority Leader Harry Reid trails in polls for his Senate re-election in 2010.

All in all, it’s a fairly stunning performance for the Democratic-controlled Congress, which can no longer blame its woes (at least not credibly) on the Republicans. Democrats control the show, and so far voters are voting thumbs down. Might it be that the spend-a-thon and the parade of ethical problem children are putting voters in another “throw the bums out” sort of mood?

In 2006 voters rejected incumbents who spent like drunken sailors and racked up a series of embarrassing ethical violations—while sending a message to the president that he was mismanaging the key issue of the day (then it was the Iraq war). It could happen again, unless Congress gets its act together.