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The Congressional Approval Ratings Myth

Right-wingers and Republicans have been bloviating endlessly about Congress' low approval ratings implying that this is a direct reflection of disapproval of the Democrats and their leadership. What they never seem to point out is that nearly half of the seats in Congress are held by REPUBLICANS. It would seem to make sense then to spread the blame for the low approval rating of Congress among both parties in direct proportion to their number of seats.

Personally, I disapprove of Congress' performance because they have been unable to stop the war in Iraq. The primary obstacle to that are the obstinate Republicans in the Senate who are filibustering every attempt to pass a bill that mandates a withdrawal and allows our troops to finally come home from the disastrous debacle in Iraq. I have a feeling I'm not the only American who disapproves of Congress' performance and who also pins the blame for that on the Republicans, not the Democrats.

To prove this point, check out the poll just put out by Gallup:

The Nov. 2-4, 2007, poll finds 54% of Americans saying they have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, while 37% have an unfavorable opinion. Ratings of the Republican Party are much more negative, with 40% favorable and 50% unfavorable.

People who call themselves Independents approve of Democrats over Republicans by a 47% to 33% margin.

These are great numbers for the Democrats no matter how you cut it. A 17% approval margin among all voters and 14% among Independents is awesome. The generic congressional preference polls are all showing similar margins.

So let the clowns on the right continue to try and play Congress' approval rating for all its worth. It's a myth that those low ratings reflect badly on the Democrats. They actually reflect badly on the obstructionist Republicans who continue to block any effort to bring our troops home from the utterly futile nationbuilding fiasco in Iraq.


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (3)

MunDane68[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Umm..there is a difference between approval of a party and approval of Congress, and you know this. In fact, in the article I do not see the word "Congress" nor "President" mentioned, except in passing mention as a time frame.

You have totally misrepresented the article AND the results. Good job!

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Larkin..If the pollsters asked who has control of the Congress, I bet only 50% of Americans would know or guess correctly...How to explain this, "According to the poll (September 2007) 37% of Republicans approve of Congress' performance, compared to 23% of Democrats and 14% of independents, with an overall rating of 24% approval and 71% disapproval".

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Larkin..Okay, I was exaggerating a bit, or was I? in this last poll, by the National Election Survey taken in in fall of 2004, to the question..Do you happen to know which party had the most members in the House of Representatives in Washington before the elections (this/last) month?"(IF NECESSARY:) "Which one?"

Answer. Republicans. 46% were incorrect, 54% were correct


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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