Although the number of people who think that all incumbents should just be thrown out of office is as low as ever, the blame as to why Congress is so dysfunctional is starting to change, and it’s something the Republicans had better hope they can counter.
According to the latest Pew Research polling, the GOP leaders are being more and more seen as the root of government’s failure to accomplish anything, and the party is almost twice as often viewed as “extreme and uncompromising” in compared to the Democrats.
“The Republican Party is taking more of the blame than the Democrats for a do-nothing Congress. A record-high 50% say that the current Congress has accomplished less than other recent Congresses, and by nearly two-to-one (40% to 23%) more blame Republican leaders than Democratic leaders for this. By wide margins, the GOP is seen as the party that is more extreme in its positions, less willing to work with the other side to get things done, and less honest and ethical in the way it governs. And for the first time in over two years, the Democratic Party has gained the edge as the party better able to manage the federal government,” according to Pew.
Chris Cillizza says this could be dire news for the Republican party. “If the election next November is a referendum on Congress and its performance ó such as it is ó the Republican majority could be in trouble,” he writes.
But The Hill disagrees.† “[W]hile Democrats might be outpacing Republicans in terms of favorability, that might best be characterized as tripping over a low bar. Only 23 percent of those not affiliated with a party approve of the Democratic leadership, and just as many Independents say that ‘neither’ party can solve the nation’s problems as either the Democrats or Republicans.”
And although incumbents fair better than general candidates, they still have reason to fret about their own voter support. “Members should be very worried about their reelection prospects: The 50 percent who want their own member to lose in 2012 is the same percentage as the all-time high recorded in 2010, when 58 members lost their reelection bids.”
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