Washington (CNN) - Most Americans disapprove of how both the Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are handling their jobs, according to a new national poll.
And a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that the public does not seem optimistic about the economy if either the GOP or the Democrats control Congress next year.
Thirty-four percent of people questioned in the poll approve of the job Democratic leaders in Congress are doing, with 64 percent saying they disapprove of how congressional Democratic leaders are handling their duties. According to the survey 31 percent give Republican congressional leaders a thumbs up, with two out of three disapproving of the job they are doing.
"In 1994 and 2006, the last two midterm elections in which control of Congress changed hands, polls indicated that one party was more popular than the other. But that's not necessarily true in 2010," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
Among those who say they are likely to vote in the midterm elections, 32 percent approve of the job congressional Democratic leaders are doing, with 29 percent saying they approve of how Republican leaders in Congress are handling their duties. Among independent voters, 22 percent say they approve of how congressional Democratic leaders are doing, with 26 percent of saying they give congressional Republican leaders a thumbs up.
While neither party has a leg up when it comes to approval, on some major issues, the poll suggests Republicans have an advantage, including terrorism, government spending, and immigration.
"They also have an edge on the economy - although even here, the poll has a mixed message for the GOP. The good news for the GOP: only 41 percent say that Democratic policies would move the economy in the right direction if that party retains control on Congress; 47 percent say that Republican policies would improve the economy if the GOP wins power," says Holland.
But 49 percent say that Republican policies would move the economy in the wrong direction.
"So while the public appears to trust the GOP a little more than the Democrats on the economy, the public doesn't have a lot of confidence in the GOP policies," adds Holland.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted October 5-7, with 1,008 adult Americans, including 938 registered voters and 504 likely voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for likely voters.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story