Congressional Favorability Falls to 24-Year Low; Dems Lose Midterm Advantage
Americans’ opinion of Congress is at a 24-year low, and as a result the party in power has lost its electoral edge. Voters split between the Democrats and GOP in a 2010 matchup, but Democrats are still favored on most issues.
Public Souring on Washington
More say the president and GOP leaders are not working together, as Obama’s approval inches lower and the Democratic Party’s favorability falls sharply. Opinion about the economy remains negative with personal financial assessments becoming more bearish.
Opinion of State Governments Drops With the Economy, Budget Gaps
The falloff in favorable views has been greater in states with the largest budget gaps. Also, the new administration has shifted partisan views of the federal government dramatically.
Public Supports Targeting Al Qaeda Leaders, Wants Congress in the Loop
Americans generally support allowing the Central Intelligence Agency to assassinate al Qaeda leaders, but opinions are more mixed about whether the CIA should have such a program without first informing Congress.
The Republican Party’s Dilemma
The Sotomayor vote represents the dilemma the GOP faces coming out of its 2008 and 2006 election defeats: how to keep its base happy on the one hand and broaden its appeal to women, Latinos and young people, on the other.
Obama’s High Ratings Hold Despite Some Policy Concerns
A solid majority of Americans continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. Only about one-in-five Americans (21%) say the U.S. is less safe from terrorism under the Obama administration than under the Bush administration
Independents Take Center Stage in the Obama Era
Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama administration begins. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed in its beliefs about government, the free market and other values that underlie views on contemporary issues and policies. Both political parties have lost adherents since the election and an increasing number of Americans identify as independents.
Court of Public Opinion Sides with Women on Empathy
Obama says empathy is one of the qualities he’ll be looking for in a new Supreme Court justice. Meantime, his White House has floated a list of possible nominees that’s stacked heavily with women. Coincidence?
From BarackObama.com to Change.gov
A new survey finds that voters expect that the level of public engagement they experienced with Obama during the campaign, much of it occurring online, will continue into the early period of his new administration.
The Religious Makeup of Congress
Although a majority of the members of the new, 111th Congress are Protestants, Congress — like the nation as a whole — is much more religiously diverse than it was 50 years ago.