WISCONSINREPORT.COM (08/25/2010) - 85 percent of Americans, overall, are dissatisfied with the United States Congress according to a recent Harris Poll. The number is that high because Republicans and Independents are REALLY disgruntled, but, it doesn't end there. The poll shows that even though Democrats are in the majority in Washington D.C., 73 percent of people who consider themselves Democrats are also strongly disapproving of the way things have been going in Congress.
During an election year, August recess for members of Congress is a time for them to reconnect with their constituents and get a little rest before they come back to D.C. for a flurry of activity for one month followed by one month of intense campaigning. This year, they need to do more reconnecting than resting, as just 15% of Americans rate the overall job Congress is doing as positive with 85% giving their job negative marks. And, while Democrats may hold control of Congress, their partisans are not being more kind – three-quarters of Democrats (73%) give Congress negative ratings as do 89% of Independents and 95% of Republicans.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,775 adults surveyed online between August 9 and 16, 2010 by Harris Interactive.
One of the stories of this election season so far has been Democratic disenchantment and Republican enthusiasm. Looking at two simple factors – voting interest and voting likelihood – shows this story continues as the summer ends. While over half of Americans (53%) say they are absolutely certain they will vote in the November elections, that numbers goes up to 63% for Republicans and only to 55% for Democrats.
Interest shows a similar trend. Three in five Americans (60%) say they are interested in the House of Representatives election this year. Looking at it by party, seven in ten Republicans (71%) say they are interested versus 56% of Democrats.
Tea Party supporters are the most enthusiastic. Seven in ten of those who are Tea Party supporters (70%) and three-quarters of those who consider themselves a Tea Party member (77%) say they are absolutely certain to vote. They are also more likely to be interested in the election. Eight in ten Tea Party supporters (79%) and 88% of Tea Party members say they are interested in the House of Representative election this year.
This enthusiasm is showing itself in a tight race for the House. One-third of Americans say they would vote for the Democratic candidate (34%) and one-third say they would vote for the Republican candidate (33%) with over one-quarter still undecided (28%).
Looking at just those who say they are absolutely or very certain to vote this November, the edge goes to the Republicans, as 39% say they will vote for them with 37% saying they will vote for the Democratic candidate.
Among those who are extremely or very interested in this year’s election, the Grand Old Party could see a landslide as almost half of these people (47%) say they would vote Republican compared to 35% who would vote for the Democrat.
If there is a Tea Party candidate in the race, things look better for the Democrats. In a three way race, 34% of Americans would vote for the Democrat, 22% would vote for the Republican and 11% would vote for the Tea Party candidate with one-third (33%) undecided.
When looking at interest and likelihood to vote, the edge remains with the Democrats in the three-way race. Among those absolutely or very certain to vote, 38% would vote Democrat, 25% Republican and 14% for the Tea Party candidate. Among those extremely or very interested to vote, 36% would vote Democrat, 29% would vote Republican and 19% would vote for the Tea Party candidate.
The 2010 midterm elections are entering the final phase. Once Labor Day is over, the fall election cycle is in full swing. So far this year, 6 incumbents have lost in primaries around the country. Other incumbents have survived close calls. The electorate is disgruntled, but what happens over the next nine weeks will help decide two important factors. First, who will actually turn out to vote on November 2nd? And, more importantly, who are they voting for?
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