American voters fed up with Republican Congress

American voters are fed up with the Republican-controlled Congress, saying it is corrupt, controlled by special interests and unresponsive to the people.

That’s the finding of the latest New York Times/CBS poll.

As Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder report in The New York Times:

With the midterm elections less than seven weeks away, Americans have an overwhelmingly negative view of the Republican-controlled Congress, with substantial majorities saying that they disapprove of the job it is doing and that its members do not deserve reelection, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The disregard for Congress is the most intense it has been since 1994, when Republicans captured 52 seats to end four decades of Democratic control of the House and retook the Senate as well. It underlines the challenge the Republican Party faces in trying to hold onto power in the face of a surge in anti-incumbent sentiment.

By overwhelming 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 does in a two-year session; most said they 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.

The Times/CBS News poll also found that President Bush did not improve his own or his party’s standing through the intense campaign of speeches he made and events he attended surrounding the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The speeches were at the heart of a Republican strategy to thrust national security to the forefront in the fall elections.

Mr. Bush’s job approval rating was 37 percent, virtually unchanged from the last Times/CBS News poll, which was conducted in August. On the issue that has been a bulwark for Mr. Bush, 54 percent said they approve of the way he is managing the effort to combat terrorists, again unchanged from last month, though up from earlier this spring.

Republicans continue to hold a slight edge over Democrats on which party is better at dealing with terrorism, though that edge did not grow since last month despite Mr. Bush’s flurry of speeches on national security, including one from the Oval Office on the night of the Sept. 11 anniversary.

But the Times/CBS News poll found a slight increase in the percentage of Americans who say they approve of the way Mr. Bush has handled the war in Iraq, to 36 percent from 30 percent. It also suggests that after bottoming out this spring, Mr. Bush’s approval ratings on the economy and foreign policy have returned to their levels of about a year ago, both at 37 percent. The number of people who called terrorism the most important issue facing the country doubled to 14 percent in this poll from 7 percent in July; 22 percent named the war in Iraq as their top concern, little changed from July.

Across the board, the poll found marked disenchantment with Congress, highlighting the opportunity that Democrats see to make the argument for a change in leadership and to make the election a national referendum on the performance of the Republican-controlled Congress and Mr. Bush’s tenure. In one striking finding, 77 percent of respondents — including 65 percent of Republicans — said that most members of Congress had not done a good enough job to deserve re-election and that it was time to give new people a chance. That is the highest number of voters who said it was “time for new people” since the fall of 1994.

Republicans took control of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections.


  1. I’m with PJ McConnell – although I’ve tended to vote Democrat I would not vote for them either in this election if I could vote (I moved to Canada last year). However, you can always scare the s**t out of whatever party you usually vote for by letting them know you hold them as responsible for the nation’s messes as the other guy’s – the Dems in particular have not had the cojones to stand up to the Bushies and for that, they should pay, too. As I have a phone still connected to a US phone number, that’s exactly what *I* intend to do.

  2. marblex

    diebold will decide this election as it has the last three national elections.

    der shrubenfuhrer is planning to launch nuclear war against Iran.

    we can only pray that the world unites against the United States and liberates its people from this evil regime, just as the Germans were relieved of their devil, Hitler.

  3. bimmle

    yes diebold will have a say, but they still rely on the polls not being too far different from the actual results. vote for anything other than a democrat & you will be helping them. your candidate won’t win, the repugs WILL claim election victory as a mandate for more of the same and they will entrench their power even further making it harder for your vote to ever count in the future.
    the people claiming to vote for 3rd parties are probably just republicans trying to lead you astray

  4. marblex

    Bimmie, I hate to have to be the one to say it, but if you believe those polls aren’t as puffed up in Chumpy’s favor as possible you are CRAZY.

    The corporate advertising and propaganda cabal can’t possibly get away with a complete fantasy (like everyone loves George) but…if you seriously believe there are really 120 MILLION dead brain morons in this country who support der shrubenfuher or the GOP you are deceived.

    The REAL numbers, which doubtless accurately reflect the true demographics are like 80/20 (which is roughly commensurate with the percentage of right wing extremists in this country) and these polls and the wording of their questions are being fudged as hard as one could ever fudge a question.

    So why fudge the polls?

    So that as the election nears…they can tell you how much closer to “dead heat” the election has become all around


    So when they diebold it and elections are won by the magic 50.0001% no one will squawk too hard. Oh…and there won’t be any reporting of “non-vetted” exit polls this year…if at all..I am betting on it.

    The republic is lost. It is now time to do what Jefferson said must be done in times like this.

    We are becoming Nazi Germany. When the Republican ass clowns in Congress keep their seats (and hell, they’ll probably even gain a few *wink*) they will immediately pass the equivalent of the Enabling Act.


  5. marblex

    time to get rid of ALL of them

    dems/repugs, two sides of the same coin….two heads of the same beast supported by the elite, who care nothing whatsoever for anything but MONEY.

    They are laughing at us while robbing us blind, stripping us of our rights and any ability to stop them.

  6. Donny

    I do’nt think the Republicans are for working Americans.There needs to be a raise in the minimun wage.
    Thats the reason there is so much crime in America, and all the prison’s are full.

  7. People now genuinely hate Republicans, but many still don’t trust Democrats. The current situation parallels 1994, but the roles are reversed. Now the Democrats are the “reformers” who will “save the country” and “clean house.” All that’s lacking is a Democratic equivalent of a 1994 Newt Gingrich. A change is in order, but does anyone believe that the Democrats can provide the necessary leadership? Pat Buchannan described the political party duopoly best as “two wings on the same bird of prey.” Maybe if there are sitll some Americans left in either party who are genuinely concerned with this country and have the national recognition and support then they can come together and form a genuine third party to return this country to its senses.

  8. JimZ

    Yea, yea, we’ve heard all this before. Congress has extremely low ratings in the polls but when election day comes around, the sheeple vote their same ole incumbent back into office again. I realize it’s not too much fun to vote when the “challenger” isn’t very appealing either. That’s one of the unfortunate problems we have with our major parties.

    It does worry me when this poll (and do we believe polls anymore?) that a large percentage of people can’t remember a major piece of legislation passed by this Congress? Do they not remember the Bankruptcy Deform Act in which no exceptions were even allowed for troops on duty overseas who have illegally been kept past their normal deployments, nor anyone with major medical expenses? Do they not remember the fascism-assisting expansion of the already dreadful “Patriot Act”. Geez. That’s only a sampler. How about the Terry Schiavo debacle?

    Very few incumbents deserve to be re-elected. Only a handful have stood up for what’s right for America, instead of what’s best for re-election, or just simply expanding the power of their party (well, the Democrats, hmmm…). A couple that come to mind include Ron Paul and Russ Feingold, and perhaps Henry Waxman.

    People, take the time to check the voting records of your incumbent before popping the chad or touching the screen for them. Anyone who voted even for the two bills I mentioned above don’t deserve to be re-elected.

    And don’t feel that voting for a third party candidate is a wasted vote. That’s propaganda of the major parties. It IS a wasted vote if you vote for the lesser of two evils from the majors.

    Let’s throw the bums out America!

  9. P J McConnell

    Republicans. Democrats. Wake up, Patriots. “Two wings on the same bird of prey” is all that sham is. Third party candidates means we really do have a choice. Abraham Lincoln was a third party candidate!

  10. Andres Fimbres

    I for one cannot stand either party and would rather “waste” my vote than to see another election go to the lesser of two evils.

    America is in the grip of entropy, and one that came about simply because we are too lazy and selfish to give a damn about the country we should all love and cherish.

  11. Lou Raskin

    I think the wrong question is being asked. Try “What do you think about the efforts of your Congressperson in caring for the economic and social needs of your district?”

    Chances are the responses, of the vast majority of voters would be, my Congressperson is doing a good/great job; it the Congress that needs to be relaced. duh!!!

    Such polls serve the interests of incumbents and set-up people for disappointment.

  12. Fred

    Frankly, the problem with third parties is simply that the system (largely developed by the major parties) is designed to try to keep them out of the process without completely excluding any possibility of their existance. What has to be done is to change the system so that third parties are not disadvantaged by the system itself. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy, since the rare times that a third party gets significant power, they tend to just displace one of the former major parties, as opposed to changing the system.

    At the federal level, I do not plan to any incumbants in this election. One of the canidates I’m considering for a federal position is a third-party canidate.

  13. Sandy Price

    Well done Joe. I’m going 3rd party all the way. For any position without a third party candidate I will vote for no Republican! We must stop this assault on our American values.

  14. Lance Manion

    How about this for political cartoon? Uncle Sam is standing with the monster from the movie Alein wrapped around his face. the monster vaguely resembles an elephant and is labed the gop. A donkey stands in the background shivering in fear.