Thursday, September 21, 2006

America Gives Congress 25% Approval

From the NYT:

By broad margins, respondents said that members of Congress were too tied to special interests and that they did not understand the needs and problems of average Americans. Two-thirds said Congress had accomplished less than it typically did in a two-year session; most said they could not name a single major piece of legislation that cleared this Congress. Just 25 percent said they approved of the way Congress was doing its job.

But for all the clear dissatisfaction with the 109th Congress, 39 percent of respondents said their own representative deserved re-election, compared with 48 percent who said it was time for someone new.

What is more, it seems highly unlikely Democrats will experience a sweep similar to the one Republicans experienced in 1994. Most analysts judge only about 40 House seats to be in play at the moment, compared with over 100 seats in play at this point 12 years ago, in large part because redistricting has created more safe seats for both parties.

The poll also found that President Bush had not improved his own or his party’s standing through his intense campaign of speeches and events surrounding the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The speeches were at the heart of a Republican strategy to thrust national security to the forefront in the fall elections.

For those who are fond of predictions, how many seats will Republicans or Democrats pick up or lose? Can Democrats take the House or Senate?

Nagourney, Adam. "Only 25% in Poll Approve of the Congress". New York Times. 9/21/06


GMR said...

I think that people view their congressman the same way the view the local public school. They don't like congress, but like their own congressman. They don't public schools nationwide are all that great, but the local one is always pretty good....

As for a generic question on the congressional ballot, that doesn't mean a lot, because in this country, we don't vote for a party, we vote for a local candidate. And in a generic question, the Democrats always seem to outclass the Republicans. I think that some of this has to do with the fact that there are many more districts that are crammed with Democrats than are crammed with Republicans, since most central urban areas are overwhelmingly Democratic. If you get 90% or 51% in the election, you still get to become congressman.

As for predictions, I think everyone is just guessing at this point. I would guess that at this point, Republicans lose 3 or 4 seats in the Senate. I see it unlikely that they actually lose control there.

The House is a bit more uncertain, because there are more races, and they aren't really polled that accurately. I think it'll be close. If I had to bet now, I'd say Republicans keep nominal control, although when it's down to 2 or 3 seats, you also have to wonder about people switching parties.

The only Senator that could switch is Chafee, but I think there'd be a big stink if he did that to give Democrats control: it would be the second time in six years that the Democrats gained power this way, and the NRSC spent a huge amount on the Chafee primary. Lieberman will win, but he won't vote for Republican control. I don't know which house members might switch, but with 435, there are probably 2 or 3 that could?

I also wonder if Republicans would be that well served with a paper thin majority, or the Democrats for that matter. The Republicans really would have to give in on most things to get them passed, but then Bush wouldn't veto, whereas if the same bill were passed by a house that were slightly Dem, Bush could potentially veto.

As far as the Democrats taking paper thin control, they'd be frustrated getting much of their agenda through the House, as certain moderates (there are a few in both parties) would stop some of these bills, and of course they'd never get through the Senate or veto (but that wouldn't be the point; the point would be to say we tried to raise the minimum wage or whatever).

With a paper thin majority, the Dems would also have a leadership fight (Murtha) and they'd probably start various investigations and such about the Iraq war. Another problem that the Dems have is that many of the ranking committee members are from the safest districts, which are often majority black districts, and the representatives are far out of the mainstream.

While having the gavel has some advantages, there will probably be as much liability to having a thin majority as there would be a benefit.

(Parliamentary democracies don't have this same problem, since their party members usually always vote in lock step with the leaders, since a failed vote results in new elections).

CC said...

Not at all surprising. Most Americans express a disdain for government yet demand a lot of it. Most Americans would say they dislike big government but simultaneously explain that they love social security and medicare!

Anonymous said...

Congressional Democrats are lashing out against Hugo Chavez...This is a sign that Democrats have gone a little too far with their rhetoric against Bush and they don't want to be alligned with someone like Chavez. It might be too late!!!

CC said...

It is too late for all who are paying attention. Shame on Sen. Dodd for cow-towing to Chavez....

Anonymous said...

How long will it take before someone on MLN or DailyKos submits a post claiming that Karl Rove orchestrated the Chavez attack on Bush? LMAO!

Anonymous said...

The 25% may be higher then a used car salesman

Anonymous said...

In the Senate, GOP loses 4 seats, but Dems lose 2.

In the House, GOP loses no more than 6.

Democrats spend another December sole searching.

Duchess Of Austin said...

Sorry, but the Dhims have been so hyjacked by the far left (Kos kidz and their extremist ilk) that they cannot look forward to a majority for a long time to come, if ever.

Mainstream Americans don't by their stuff and they continue to lionize useful idiots like Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney. Even McKinney's consituents realized she's an embarassment to them, but evidently the DNC hasn't come to that conclusion yet, and probably never will.

JFK would be appalled at what the Democratic party has become.

I predict that the Dhimmocrats won't win anything, and will play hell hanging on to what they have.

It sucks when you're stupid.

Anonymous said...

What's the best way to end a post where you confuse "by" with "buy"?

Call half the country stupid!

DofA, if you didn't exist, we would have to invent you!

bluecoat said...

Kind of sad that the wing-nuts won't acknowledge that evry once and a while a lousy lib puts on the uniform and serves our country:

Draft James Webb

Tammy Duckworth for Congress

Sestak for Congress

bluecoat said...

The Democrats have been touting universal healthcare left and right this campaign season but when I ask them what their proposal is I alwasy get a blank stare at first and then a list of all the problems but nevr anything concrete by way of a legislative bill. Anyway I think here and
here is some information on the team of which they cheerlead without them knowing the players or the playbook or even the color of their uniforms.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Scott MacLean, a Republican, is the only candidate out there with a specific plan. It's a bi-partisan plan called Universal Health Care Vouchers. Here's a link to an article in Washington Monthly with the details:

Outrageous said...

Here's a good reason that people are fed up with Congress: