Disapproval of Congress Reaches All-Time High as Tea Party Approval Drops

Michael Santo's picture

Disapproval of Congress hit a record high in the latest New York Times / CBS News poll, reaching the highest number since the question of "Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job" was first asked, back in 1977.

82 percent disapproved of the way Congress was doing its job. 14 percent approved, while 3 percent were undecided, and the remaining 1 percent was a result of rounding.

Meanwhile, more than 70 percent of those surveyed felt that those in Congress should NOT be re-elected. 80 percent believed that the debt ceiling negotiations were less about the good of the country, and more about political gain. In fact, many have called what the GOP did "hostage taking," as the debt ceiling had always been raised in a sort of rubber-stamp measure. In this case, the GOP played hardball, despite the fact that during the Bush presidency, when the majority of the existing debt was accrued, the debt ceiling was raised seven times.

Additionally, nearly three-quarters said that the debate over the debt ceiling had harmed the image of the United States in the world. The poll also found that the GOP in Congress should shoulder more of the blame for the long negotiations, with a majority of those polled saying the Republicans compromised too little. 72 percent disapproved of the way Republicans in Congress handled the negotiations. At the same time, 66 percent disapproved of the way Democrats in Congress handled negotiations. Obama came out of it beter, with the public evenly divided, within the surveyr's margin of error: 47 percent disapproved and 46 percent approved.

The Tea Party's approval continues to drop, perhaps influenced by their role in the debt ceiling talks. In fact, 43 percent of Americans now think the Tea Party has too much influence on the GOP, up from 27 percent in mid-April. In addition, the Tea Party is now viewed unfavorably by 40 percent of the public and favorably by only 20 percent. In that same mid-April poll, 29 percent of those polled viewed the Tea Party unfavorably, while 26 percent viewed it favorably.

50 percent of those surveyed said the debt ceiling deal should have included increased tax revenue as well, although 44 percent said it should have relied on cuts alone. However, 63 percent of those polled said that they support raising taxes on households that earn more than $250,000 a year, with including majorities among all of the political parties: Democrats (80 percent), independents (61 percent) and even Republicans (52 percent).

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