May 18, 2011

Republican Control?

38%

Fewer than four-in-ten Americans can say which house of Congress is controlled by the GOP.

Few Americans know the specifics of political power in Congress. Asked about the legislative branch in a recent News IQ survey, just 38% of the public can say the Republican Party currently has a majority in the House of Representatives. About one-in-ten (11%) say the GOP controls the Senate, 18% believe the Republicans control both houses, 6% say neither and 27% admit they do not know. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to be aware of the details of divided power in Washington. Still, only about half of Republicans (49%) know that the GOP controls only the House, compared with 39% of independents and just 33% of Democrats. As with many political knowledge questions, older adults and those with a college education are more likely to know that the GOP controls the House of Representatives. In a separate question about Congress, just 43% of adults were able to identify John Boehner as the speaker. Nearly two-in-ten (19%) still believed Nancy Pelosi controlled the speaker’s gavel. Read More