By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days.
Data from Pew Research Center, National Election Studies, Gallup, ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, and CNN Polls.
Dysfunctional. Corrupt. Selfish. It's not hard to guess what these words are describing. Examine a word cloud to see what the public thinks of Congress.
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.
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.
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.
Americans continue to hold their local and state governments in fairly high esteem, but positive views of the federal government are at their lowest point in at least a decade.
All three branches of the federal government are under fire from the American public. Just 29% approve of President Bush's job performance while the proportion with a favorable view of Congress has declined 12 percentage points since January. Even favorable opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court have fallen, from 72% in January to 57% currently.
Belief that this Congress has accomplished less than its predecessors is higher than at any point in the past nine years; Republican leaders take the blame.
Allegations of corruption are fueling political discontent among independents, who are unhappy with Congress in general and their own representatives in particular.