Public confidence in President Barack Obama has hit a new low, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.Four months before midterm elections that will define the second half of his term, nearly six in 10 voters say they lack faith in the president to make the right decisions for the country, and a clear majority once again disapproves of how he is dealing with the economy.
Regard for Obama is still higher than it is for members of Congress, but the gap has narrowed. About seven in 10 voters say they lack confidence in Democratic lawmakers and a similar proportion say so of Republican lawmakers.
Overall, more than a third of voters polled — 36 per cent — say they have no confidence or only some confidence in the president, congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans. Among independents, this disillusionment is higher still. About two-thirds of all voters say they are dissatisfied with or angry about the way government is working.
Such broad negative sentiments have spurred a potent anti-incumbent mood. Just 26 per cent say they are inclined to support their representative in the House this fall; 62% are inclined to look for someone new.
Democrats nationally remain on the defensive as they seek to retain both houses of Congress this fall.
Registered voters are closely divided on the question of whether they will back Republicans or Democrats in House races. Among those who say they are sure to cast ballots in November, 49% side with the GOP and 45% with Democrats.
Overall, a slim majority of all voters say they would prefer Republican control of Congress so that the legislative branch would act as a check on the president’s policies. Those most likely to vote in the midterms prefer the GOP over continued Democratic rule by a sizable margin of 56% to 41%.
Almost all Americans rate the economy negatively, although compared with the depths of the recession in early 2009, far fewer now describe economic conditions as “poor.” Only about a quarter of all Americans think the economy is improving.
Recent economic developments — a declining stock market, problems in the housing industry and an unemployment report showing only tepid job growth in the private sector — may have bruised the president’s ratings.
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