Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Americans' Satisfaction With Congress Hits New Lows
The Republican Party was hit with another stomach punch this week with the release of a new USA Today/Gallup poll showing Americans' satisfaction with the GOP-controlled Congress now at a pathetic 29%, the lowest since 1994 when an electorate fed up with scandal, corruption and policy failure gave the GOP a landslide win in the midterms, ushering in over 11 years of Republican rule that still exists on the Hill today. It's starting to look like deja vu all over again for the GOP. The poll found President Bush's approval rating at an all-time low as well.
Americans increasingly are saying they want change. The country has been rocked with both domestic and overseas turmoil including a highly controversial and unpopular war; ongoing terror threats and embarrassing homeland security failures; rising inflation; declining consumer confidence; record gas and oil prices; scandal on Capital Hill and in the White House; and the Harriet Miers debacle.
What's of most concern to party analysts is that the new poll also showed that 1 in 4 independents said they approved of Congress' performance, whereas about 7 in 10 said they disapproved.
"The Republican base can be as intense as it wants, but if you are going to lose independents nationally by 15 [percentage] points, it doesn't matter," said veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio.
The Bush administration's strength has been its core conservative base, which could further alienate independents as the desperate Bushies try to appease the base even further. "He could lose all the independents in the process," said Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg.
GOP Pollster Frank Luntz agrees that the party is facing mounting challenges it may not be able to overcome, and that anger towards the Republican leadership and a desire for change may result in a "wave that throws out incumbents," and added, "everyone's disappointed. I can't find a happy Republican out there."