October 11th, 2010
01:26 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Most disapprove of both GOP and Democrats in Congress

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.

Full results (pdf)

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


Filed under: CNN Polls • Congress • Democrats • Republicans
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    No. I just dislike the republicans in Congress. They're collecting a paycheck for doing absolutely nothing. The democrats in Congress have earned my tax dollars. Send republicans to the unemployment line in November.

    October 11, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. stufthis

    "No!" does not appear to be resonating with the voters. It is shocking to see that 31% approve of the job republicans are doing in congress. I cannot help but wonder if the approval rate for the GOP might be higher in the countries where they shipped our jobs.

    October 11, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Bender

    NYC Mayor Bloomberg rips state Board of Elections for its failure to send absentee ballots to more than 50,000 city residents serving overseas in the military — among 320,000 statewide — a violation of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE)

    October 11, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Sidney

    Well ... who elected these chumps most so disapprove of? Maybe the electorate should pay closer attention to who it elects and how, then we wouldn't have this dissatisfaction. Democracy is only as good as the "We the people."

    October 11, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Nelson Baerga

    My sentiments exactly

    October 11, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    It is about time CNN ran a poll that asked the right question. What is costing America its freedom is the two party system that works for special interests before the constitution. These special interests are paying into both parties in every election.
    Two parties no matter who is in charge we continue to get the same results. Higher taxes and less freedom.
    We need to remember that political parties are businesses and they are in business to make money bottom line, and making money comes in before running a constitutional government.

    October 11, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. boocat

    Can't stand any of these crooks in DC. I am not voting...ever again.

    October 11, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    I just love it how CNN makes DEMOCRATS look worst than RepubliCAN'Ts when it’s NOT TRUE!

    "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..."

    BUT yet "...31 percent give Republican congressional leaders a thumbs up, with two out of three disapproving of the job they are doing." WHAT'S 2 out of 3?????? I want to see the % – is that 66%? Why not say 66%?????

    Go MEDIA – keep preaching how much the DEMOCRATS ARE IN TROUBLE and the REPUBLICAN'TS are ELECTRIFIED!!!! You are in for a RUDE AWAKENING and this will be one year that the PUNDITS and POLLSTERS go down in history as being the WORST Fortune Tellers of all times............ YES WE CAN!!!

    DEMOCRATS – let's embarrassed the MEDIA and get the VOTE out!! If you look at these numbers – and keep in mind they polls always veer towards to the RIGHT – Americans DISLIKE RepubliCAN'Ts more!!! Don't believe the HYPE when you see ADS on TV making it seem we are LOSING – we're NOT!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!!

    October 11, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. John

    The Democrats may not be doing a great job, but the REPUBLICAN will do even a worse job. Vote for the lesser of to evil. At lease the jobs we in AMERICA now will stay here,and not go OVERSEA OR MEXICO.

    October 11, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  10. RichP, easton, pa

    What can you say, we got hoovers on one side of the isle and kirbys on the other side.

    October 11, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. r jamison

    nice spin leading with gop then democrats...who controls the house by a WIDE margin? you lib's are in complete denial good
    luck in november YOU IDIOT'S...

    October 11, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. Dean

    But guess what, Peolsi, Reid and the crooks of both parties will for the most part be re-elected.

    October 11, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. p.h

    funny how the people complaining about obamacare will be the main people using the benefits of this new reform just like soc sec. sad that know one is complaining about the money spent on the 2 wars

    October 11, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. larry

    The performances of both parties does not really inspire confidence,however the GOP is particularly disgusting.

    October 11, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Let's forget about our American soldiers that died based upon Bush/Cheney/Rove lies and put the Republicans back in office so they can lie to us again for war profits.

    October 11, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  16. barry

    Yes we disapprove of both but the Dems didn't listen to the American people. Beccause of that most Dems will join the nations unemployed. After all their job killing agenda caused the massive unemployment.

    October 11, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. King

    The repug should not get a pay check for the past two years and if theyve gotten any they need to repay the tax payer imediately. A street bum doesnt sit around the street and do obsolutely nothing for two years but these repugs manage to accomplish that. These repugs are ridiculous and the american want to put these bums back in power are you serious.

    October 11, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. jim wilson

    repubs get the country on economic recover? smoke & mirrors, they are racists and can't believe that a branded black man (technically 1/2 white-1/2 black) . they will posture ,obstruct, an be derisive. Also who started socialism in this counrty, george w bush with his government bail out. the repubs destroyed this country and now the dem's have to fill in the ditch and bring the country to a substantial fiscal footing.

    October 11, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. albert miller

    How could Dems possibly be disappointed by an administration that got elected running on "change", but when elected, really never made any meaningful changes? No single payer, no govt health insurance policy, no stoppage of overseas outsourcing of jobs, no increasing taxes on the super rich. How can the Dems get re-elected?" Don't elect the Republic, they are worse than us"? How about, "elect the Repubs, and we will stop them, like they stopped us"? "it doesn't matter who you elect, the Corporations will run the Supreme Court and Congress"?

    October 11, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Jim from Raytown

    The Congressional approval rating would see a significant boost if President Obama would call a special session of Congress to address the issue of the impending freeze (second year in a row) of Social Security COLA. The 35 YO formula to determine the COLA trigger needs a desperate revision. Get all these politicians off the campaign trail and back to doing the jobs they were elected for in the first place. SS/COLA not only affects Social Security recipients. Many pensions are keyed on SS/COLA also.

    This is not a Democrat problem; neither is it a Republican problem. It is a Legistlative disgrace to treat the elderly in such a manner. Call them out, Obama. Let your seniors see who has their best interests at heart.

    October 11, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Sherri W.W.

    I am still amazed~and really puzzled that 40+%of the people trust Republicans to make the economy better! What have Repubs done except refuse to pass anything without a huge,time~wasting fight,in the last 2yrs?~and because they want Pres.Obama to fail so badly,anything that did get passed,the Repubs made them water every bill down to where it would lose a lot of the good things for poor and middle class folks!~Because then they could say"see~that Dem idea wasn`t any good&doesn`t work"~the real kicker is that,no matter if Repubs win the congress lead or not,during the NEXT 2 years~they will HAVE to agree to good things for middle class&poor,or folks will suddenly remember BIG TIME that they got us into the mess~but yet,Repubs still wont want to pass things the Dems want,for 2 reasons~because they are more interested in richer people AND they SURE do not want Pres.Obama to look good NOW!Oh,they may have a "plan "but I think it may backfire on Repubsa/ Tea P.

    October 11, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Debbie

    I think they are both doing a horrible job. You need people like me in office. I would have gotten the majority of this mess taken care of by now!!!!!

    October 11, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. theo

    no comment,i guess pple wants to go back to failed policies of the gop. goodluck

    October 11, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. mohillic

    well at least we can all agree on something. to all you ragers out there trying to figure out who to vote for, please go to uselections (dot com) website and find out who is running in your area. get educated and make the right decision don't just vote for your team. it's ridiculous that people even think that way. pick the right person, our lives depend on it!!!

    October 11, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    People are like goldfish, Republican policies got us to this point, starting with Reagan and ignored by Clinton, and expanded by Bush, and now the far-right that took control in 2000 with Bush is masquerading as the "Tea Party" to keep it going?

    Then the Republicans will win the majority in the election and everyone will blame Obama during his second term for not doing anything when partisanship from the Republicans blocks every single bill and brings both the senate and congress to a dead standstill.

    I hate to sympathize with the Tea Party, given they're just a wingnut far-right fascade, but what the hell is wrong with our country?

    October 11, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |