Fox News Poll: Congressional Democrats More Popular Than Bush

Much has been made lately of congress' plummeting approval ratings and for good reason. Not only have they reached historic lows (even lower than 1994 and 2006) but they make George Bush seem popular by comparison.

Newsweek, June 18-19:
Congress: 25%
Bush: 26%

Gallup, June 11-14:
Congress: 24%
Bush: 32%

NBC/WSJ, June 8-11:
Congress: 23%
Bush: 29%

LA Times/Bloomberg, June 7-10
Congress: 27%
Bush: 34%

Many on the left, right and Broder have interpreted this trend as an indictment of the Democrats because a. they hold the majority and b. they promised a lot of change that they just haven't been able to deliver, and therefore, next year, as in years past with record low approval ratings, voters may just throw the Democratic bums out. But what if we actually look at how people rate Democrats in congress vs. the institution as a whole? The latest Fox News poll asks just that and the results tell an entirely different story.

First it should be noted that, as per his trend lately, George Bush receives his lowest rating ever in a Fox News poll: 31%.

As for Congress, rather than asking for an overall approval rating, the Fox poll splits the question by party.  

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Democrats in Congress are doing?
Approve: 36%
Disapprove: 49%

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Republicans in Congress are doing?
Approve: 30%
Disapprove: 56%

In other words, congressional Republicans are the ones who are less popular than Bush, not the Democrats. You got that, Broder?

The net favorability of -13 that Democrats enjoy is no prize but it certainly kicks the ass of the Republicans' -26 and shows that people still perceive Republicans as the problem despite the fact that Democrats hold the majority. But of course that won't stop the NRCC from using congressional approval ratings to argue for a return to Republican power. It's all they have.

Update [2007-6-29 18:22:19 by Todd Beeton]: New CNN/Opinion Research poll concurs:
Fifty-three percent of 907 poll respondents who are registered voters said they would vote for a Democratic candidate for Congress if elections were held today, compared to 41 percent who said they would vote Republican. And 51 percent of the 1,029 respondents said they have a favorable opinion of the Democratic party, with 38 percent reporting an unfavorable opinion. Fifty-three percent said their opinion of the GOP is unfavorable, compared with 36 percent who said it is favorable.
There are also some serious warning signs for Democrats, however, which are consistent with the drop in approval over the past few months as a result of caving on Iraq.
49 percent, said they disapproved of what Democratic leaders in Congress have done since taking over in January. Forty-two percent said they approve...In May, 49 percent of poll respondents approved and 44 percent did not.


57 percent said they believe Democratic control of Congress is good for the country, as opposed to 31 percent who said it is not.

In November, the same month midterm elections were held and Democrats assumed control, 67 percent of poll respondents said Democratic control of Congress was good for the nation.

Congressional leaders clearly hope to reverse these trends with their plans to revisit Iraq withdrawal in July:
• Democrats to schedule votes on troops withdrawal from Iraq in July

• Measure would begin withdrawal 120 days after passage

• Senate Majority Reid uncertain if he can overcome GOP objections

• Measure also expected to be added in defense authorization bill

Tags: Approval Rating, Congress, Fox News, George Bush, polling (all tags)



This was a long needed analysis

This proves that Americans are particularly upset at Republicans blocking every good measure put forward by the Democrats in congress. Democrats need to be more decisive, yes, and Americans expect better, bolder things, but in general, Republicans in congress continue their negative trend started in the 90's. They are atrocious.

by kingsbridge77 2007-06-29 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: This was a long needed analysis

also in the same poll clinton leads obama by 23 points. without gore 26.

by terry70 2007-06-29 09:46AM | 0 recs
You gotta be kidding

How about this, what do you think Dem Congressional approval ratings were BEFORE the Iraq Supplemental Capitulation?

And the point is come November 2008, if we are still in Iraq, WHY should the Dem Congress NOt take some of the blame?

What is the point here? The Dem Congress should do BETTER. You seem to argue for them doing the same cuz they are going to win anyway.

This is some crashing of the gates you guys got going on here.

by Big Tent Democrat 2007-06-29 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: You gotta be kidding

I'm certainly not arguing that Democrats in congress should be let off the hook or shouldn't strive to be better Democrats. And yes, the polling absolutely shows that there was a steep drop in approval after the Iraq funding bill due to disappointment on the left. But what I AM doing is arguing that the narrative that voters' distaste for congress will result in Dems' losing the majority is flawed (as if the fact that David Broder believes it weren't already proof.) I think it's important to assert that voters do indeed hold Republicans in lower esteem than they do Democrats. Hitting back at Democrats is one way to embolden them. Another is to remind them that on every measure they enjoy more support than the Republicans do. I'm not just going to sit here and let false narratives be spun because we're pissed off at them.

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-29 09:40AM | 0 recs
False narratives.

You think a whopping 6% difference in favorables in a false narrative?  The only thing the Dems have going for them right now is that they are by far the lesser of two evils.  Pissed at them?  That would be putting it mildly.  Obey pushing for increases in abstinence only funding.  Kennedy pushing for guest workers and increases in H-1B visas.  Rangel negotiating secret trade deals and then insulting everyone's intelligence when he got caught.  The cave on the Iraq war was only one of many.  The best damned politician and Democrat in spirit we have is Bernie Sanders.  When the Dems take on the corporations and show some principles, the polls will go up.  Until then, we stuck with them and they know it.  

by dkmich 2007-06-29 09:46AM | 0 recs
You think the disappointment

is just on the left? Nonsense.

by andgarden 2007-06-29 11:35AM | 0 recs
I agree

Arguring that 36% is somehow better than 30% or 31% in a poll with a 3% margin of error is completely specious.  Only 1/3rd of the country approves of any of them.

If we're still in Iraq in November 2008 in any significant numbers, it's time to start over.  And I think we'll see Bloomberg get inauguratged in Jan 2009.

Not that that is any sort of endorsement, BTW, but I do think it's time for our elected leaders to, well, lead.  And if Dems and Rethugs can't/won't do it, it's time to bring in some different folks to the table.

by brooklyngreenie 2007-06-29 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree

If we're still in Iraq in November 2008 in any significant numbers, it's time to start over.  And I think we'll see Bloomberg get inauguratged in Jan 2009.

Bloomberg is, himself, pro-Iraq-war.

In 2004, during a joint news conference with first lady Laura Bush in lower Manhattan, [Bloomberg] came to her support on the topic of Iraq, saying, "Don't forget that the war started not very many blocks from here."[38]

In March, 2007, during a news conference in Staten Island, Bloomberg declared his strong opposition to legislation proposed in Congress calling for a clear timetable for troop withdrawal. He said, "We ask our young men and women to go over and to fight, and if you have a deadline knowing they're pulling out, how can you expect them to defend this country? How can you expect them to go out and put their lives at risk? I just think that's untenable and that this is not a responsible piece of legislation. It is totally separate of how we're conducting the war. It's totally separate of whether we should have been there. The issue that you asked about is plain and simple: Should the Congress pass a law forcing the president to withdraw troops at a given point in time? I think that is not something that is in the country's interest or in the military's interest." [39]

As always in the last decade, not only are conservatives the only ones with any idea how to benefit from partisanship; they're also the only ones who benefit from abandoning partisanship.

by Silent sound 2007-06-29 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: You gotta be kidding

How about this, what do you think Dem Congressional approval ratings were BEFORE the Iraq Supplemental Capitulation?

What were they, incidentally? I don't have a good link showing before and after approval ratings.

Anyway, this unto itself is important though. It shows that if Congress's approval is low, it's only because they've been listening too much to the Republicans. This isn't good for the Democrats, but it's worse for the Republicans, and it neatly defeats the purpose of David Broder and talk radio harping on the Congress's low approval: it shows that America isn't upset with the Democrats, they're upset with the Republicans, and to the extent they're upset with the Democrats it's for not distinguishing themselves from the Republicans enough.

The thing is, duh the Democrats aren't doing well enough. More interesting to me is the question of why the Democrats aren't doing well enough. Why matters because until you know why you don't know how to proceed.

by Silent sound 2007-06-29 12:14PM | 0 recs
At least 10-15 pts higher. n/t

by andgarden 2007-06-29 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Fox News Poll: Congressional Democrats

I am going to have to pile on and agree with Big Tent. These numbers look extremely bad, and parsing it as you do doesn't make them better.

by bruh21 2007-06-29 09:25AM | 0 recs
Congressional Democrats More Popular Than Bush

People just hate congress period.  

by JeremiahTheMessiah 2007-06-29 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Fox News Poll: Congressional Democrats

Yeah, I never took that Congressional approval stuff seriously as a condemnation of Democrats, as much as hacks like Broder would like to state otherwise.

by Bush Bites 2007-06-29 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Fox News Poll:

Just because people increasingly don't like Bush, doesn't mean that it is for the same reasons as you.

He's lost support from his right flank of late for supporting immigration reform. Those guys aren't going to pull the lever for one of our candidates...

by awgupta 2007-06-29 09:34AM | 0 recs


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