In New Polls, Americans Give Pretty Much All Elected Officials in Government Thumbs Down


Several new polls this week report that Americans are in a remarkably sour mood leading up to the election this November.

Basically, Americans aren't pleased with the economy, with the president, with America's direction or place in the world, with Congress, or even with their own elected leaders. The gist of America's reaction to basically everything about the government and the economy right now is, "Ugh."  

Some highlights from the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll:

Majorities are not satisfied with how things are going on multiple measures. 64 percent are dissatisfied with the state of the economy, compared to just 35 percent who are satisfied. That's the worst result since 2008.  62 percent are not satisfied with America's role in the world. And 79 percent aren't satisfied with the country's political system

Overall, 71 percent say the country is headed "off on the wrong track." Another 60 percent say America is "in a state of decline."

Americans are especially unsatisfied with President Obama. His disapproval rating is now at 54 percent, as high as it has ever been, and his approval rating just hit 40, down a point from the previous month.

The public isn't too fond of Republicans either. Only 19 percent had positive feelings toward the congressional GOP, compared with 54 percent who were negative. Democrats in Congress were also upside down on approval, with 31 percent expressing positive feelings and 46 percent coming in negative. Congress as a whole gets a 79 percent disapproval rating.

Really, the public isn't fond of anyone in Congress these days, including their own representatives. A different poll by The Washington Post and ABC News found this week that more than half—51 percent—of Americans disapprove of their own congress critter. That's a record.

This obviously isn't great news for anyone in Congress, but my sense is that it's worst for Democrats, who are linked, whether they like it or not, to President Obama and the public's feelings about the direction of the nation as a whole. And the WSJ/NBC poll seems to suggest that things are tilting, slightly, in the GOP's direction, with 44 percent saying they'd prefer a generically Republican controlled Congress and 43 percent saying they would prefer Democrats in charge.

November is going to be pretty interesting.

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle on Cops Shooting Dogs

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  1. And yet, they keep electing the same people.

    1. Yeah, let's wait for the polls that count.

      Not that I totally blame the voters, given the constrained choices they are generally faced with.

      I wonder what would happen if "None of the Above" were on the ballot.

      1. We would put Richard Prior's corpse in the Oval Office?

        1. Still be an improvement over the current occupant.

          1. Alive-ist!

          2. At least nothing would get done.

        2. If NOTA wins, either leave the office unfilled, hold another election, or if the office is important enough, have the governor/mayor/whatever appoint someone - assuming the office in question isn't governor or mayor, in which case hold a new election.

          In any new election or appointment, disqualify the people who lost to NOTA.

          1. So much wheel spinning. You really think the world would be a better place if the districts voting NOTA have no represent'n in leg. bodies, while other districts elected actual people?

            1. That was just one of the options I outlined. Let the detail people draw up a specific bill!

            2. Sure. They just have to demand no taxation without representation. And since they voted for no representation, they also voted for no taxes.

        3. Pryor. Damn I can't spel

          1. The Priori of Richard appreciates your diversion.

      2. And if "None of the Above" won, we eliminate that position from government.

  2. I'm rooting for the terrorists to nuke DC.

    1. If that were to happen DC would just respawn into a full-on police state.

  3. November is going to be pretty interesting

    What % of incumbents running for reelection will win? 85%? I guess that's more interesting than 95% but it isn't the level of interesting needed.

    1. The level needed is about 1.1 megatons on January 20th.

    2. I will be shocked to my toes if the re-elect rate is less than 90%.

      Meaning, 90% of incumbents will get the reward they most crave for their performance over the last few years.

      You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

  4. Stated preference.

    1. To be fair, 43% of eligible voters stayed home in 2012, so at least there are some people who's stated and revealed preference match up.

      1. Whose.

        1. Too late. You used the wrong one. It's on record.

          1. Nooooooooooooo!

  5. The cliche line to trot out at a time like this is "it's time to drain the swamp". They got it all wrong though. We drained the swamp back in 1790 and look what happened.

    We need to reflood it.

    1. And re-stock it with malaria carrying mosquitoes

  6. The issue with a lot of these type of articles is they lack context. Democrats generally have an advantage in polling when "who do you want to control the government", or "which party do you identify most with" questions are asked.

    The fact Republicans are running neck and neck with Democrats is a very good sign for the former, and a very bad sign for the latter.

    1. So, should we unskew the polls?

      1. No, but you should not think generic party affiliation polls will mirror the eventual vote result.

    2. Correct. In nearly all generic ballot poll questions, D beats R, even before elections in which R beats D. The fact that R is ahead now is a very good sign for them.

      But it astonishes me that Obama is still at 40% approval. I suppose a quarter of that is the black vote, and another big chunk consists of yellow dog Democrats, but that still leaves too many who are just idiots.

  7. You know what the country needs? A speech. One of those leg-thrilling speeches that generically captures the individual hopes and dreams of the American people and puts those very hopes and dreams on the blank slate who is delivering the speech. That's what the country needs.

    1. I prefer the wisdom of Thomas R. Marshall....

      Well known for his wit and sense of humor, one of Marshall's most enduring jokes came during a Senate debate in which, in response to Senator Joseph Bristow's catalog of the nation's needs, Marshall quipped the often-repeated phrase, "What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar", provoking laughter.

      1. Remember the Fruit of the Loom ads mocking that in favor of good 89-cent underwear?

  8. As tempting as it is to view the public's dissatisfaction with elected officials as a positive sign, I'd be willing to wager that significant majorities of the "disapprove" camps disapprove because the current crop of elected officials aren't statist/derpy enough.

    1. OK, but as long as they're split over how or which way to be statist, we're golden. Like getting the Nazis to fight the Commies. Hillarycare went down mostly for that reason.

  9. How come I didn't read about it here?


    1,000-member secretive progressive journalist group uncovered.

    A prominent CNN commentator, the top two political reporters for The Huffington Post, a Reuters reporter, the editor of The Nation magazine, a producer for Al Jazeera America television, a U.S. News & World Report columnist, and approximately two dozen Huffington Post contributors are among the more than 1,000 members of Gamechanger Salon.

    1. Son of JurnoList.

      I saw a report on this a few days back in PJ Media.

      1. JournoList...

        And here is the original source (?)


        1. Money comment:

          I don't believe thinking people are surprised by this. The left needs to do "group think" since they find thinking for themselves to be a function they can not perform.

    2. Meh, left-wing journalist correspond with other left-wing journalist to further left-wing agenda.

      Not really that surprising after the whole Journ-O-list scandal.

      1. Not surprising, but humorously hypocritical, considering how often the left complains about the Kochs and ALEC and other "right-wing conspiracies."

    3. I'm more surprised some enterprising hacker hasn't already dumped the conversations online for the lulz. I doubt these braniacs are masters of opsec.

      1. *brainiacs. Jesus, talk about an Iron Law.

    4. Because libertarians are to open to have secret lists to help coordinate their message. Seriously, organic growth of a story is slow, especially when there are a lot of people invested in it going nowhere.

  10. I just want to be ruled. I need to be told what to do otherwise I get confused and scared. I am happy to vote for the strong leaders who have the experience to keep government running and ensure that all agencies are full of experts who will make only the best decisions for me and my country.

    1. This captures the voter dissatisfaction most aptly. They're not mad because the govt is incompetent or increasingly labyrinthine. They're mad that their betters aren't cracking the whip hard enough.

    2. I believe we can accommodate your request.

  11. People disapprove of Congress, but not of their own Congressmen. It's always the fault of the Congressmen from there, not here. Thus 95% get reelected.

    1. It's the Rethuglicans fault, because they won't let the Democrats spend a few more trillion to fix all of the problems that they already caused while spending trillions.

    2. Wasn't there a poll recently that found that a pretty big chunk of people hate their own Congresshole too? I'm not sure if it was a majority, but it was close.

  12. In the few remaining states where after the 2010 census the Democrats gerrymandered themselves into slim majorities in a large number of districts, they're going to lose a heck of a lot of US House & state legislative districts. In the states with Republican control, the swings won't be dramatic.

  13. We send people whose most noteworthy skill is winning popularity contests to do a job which, based on the historical evidence, they don't really understand and are completely unqualified to perform properly.
    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. What could go wrong? Read the papers. Then, at least recently, multiply by two.

      The problem with democracy is that in order to work well, the people have to be able to discern -- and vote -- their true interest, as opposed to panem et circenses. Frequently this does not happen, and democracy does not work well. But it still works. This is not true of other forms of government. Two quotes:

      "...[D]emocracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried..."
      --Winston Churchill, 1947

      "Monarchy is like a splendid ship, with all sails set; it moves majestically on, then it hits a rock and sinks forever. Democracy is like a raft. It never sinks, but, damn it, your feet are always in the water."
      --Fisher Ames, 1783

  14. As most usually happens, only two bad options are presented here. In my own state, where the voter turnout in yesterday's primary was estimated to be 19%, third party candidates get little to no consideration. To add insult to injury, the open primary that advances only the top two finishers to the general election in Nov practically insures the status quo of the major parties.

  15. A different poll by The Washington Post and ABC News found this week that more than half?51 percent?of Americans disapprove of their own congress critter

    If this was true then roughly half of incumbents wouldn't get re-elected, but there will still be an upwards-of-ninety-percent incumbent retention.
    Stuff like this - "we hate all congresspeople" - is easy to say but doesn't translate to voting tallies.
    As for the respective opinions of Republicans versus demoncraps - I have to believe that these figures would be substantially different if the MSM didn't denigrate Republicans, constantly and, just as often, lionize demoncraps.
    Just sayin'.

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