April 20th, 2009
11:50 AM ET
12 years ago

Honeymoon over for congressional Democrats?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/20/art.getty.capitol.cherry.jpg caption="Congress comes back after a two week recess, a national poll indicates that the honeymoon may be over for congressional Democrats."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As Congress comes back after a two week recess, a national poll indicates that the honeymoon may be over for congressional Democrats, although they maintain a decided advantage over the GOP.

Forty-nine percent of people questioned this month in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey say that the country is better off with the Democrats controlling Congress. That's down seven points from January, but it's 15 points higher than the 34 percent who say the nation would be better with the Republicans running Capitol Hill.

Democrats won back control of both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections, and increased their majorities in last November's elections.

"Most of the Democrats' loss of support has come among younger Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In January, two-thirds of those under the age of 35 said Democratic control of Congress was good for the country. Now that figure is down to 48 percent."

The poll also indicates that 62 percent of those questioned think President Barack Obama's doing enough to cooperate with Republicans. That's down eight points from February, but it's 25 points higher than the 37 percent who feel the Republicans in Congress are doing enough to reach out to the Democrats and the President.

"Traditionally, the public likes to see bipartisan cooperation in Washington," says Holland. "So the perception that the GOP isn't reaching across the aisle may be holding the party back in its efforts to capitalize on discontent with the Democratic track record so far."

Congress reconvenes this week after a two-week Easter recess. Both houses will be in session for five weeks until they break for Memorial Day.

On their agenda: final passage of the budget, which could happen as early as the end of next week. Both houses passed separate versions of the budget bill before breaking for recess.

Congress will also start the long and difficult process of health care reform, with the hopes of finishing before the August recess. The equally hard battle over energy reform is also expected to get underway.

Lawmakers need to pass a $84 billion supplemental request by the Obama administration to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A housing bill that would allow judges to re-write mortgage payments for Americans facing foreclosure has passed in the House, but could face a fierce fight in the Senate.

Also on the agenda: The House make take up banking regulations, and the Senate must deal with confirmation hearings for Obama administration secretaries and undersecretaries.

The new poll indicates that most Americans don't think lawmakers are doing a good job. Sixty-three percent disapprove of how Congress is handling its job, with 35 percent saying they approve of what lawmakers are doing. That mark is still six points higher than in February, when only 29 percent approved of how Congress was handling its job.

"The increase in overall views of Congress is due mostly to Democrats," Holland notes. "Democrats nationwide have seen Congress pass a Democratic president's initiatives for the first time since the 1990s and they are responding accordingly. Nonetheless, most Americans still don't have a very positive view of Congress."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted April 3-5, with 1,023 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Filed under: Congress • Poll
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    A democratic Congress is better for the country. The Party of No has shot themselves in the foot and they probably won't win back the house, or the presidency anytime soon.

    April 20, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Some Republican guy

    Let's vote all those Democrats out! This country has gone to heck in a handbasket ever since that Saddam Hoosain guy blew up the world trade center. Now we're all going to be communists. ACORN is going to make sure all our jobs go to illegal aliens. They want to teach my grandbabies that we came from monkeys! Monkeys!!!! Gay people will be able to get married and vote and everything. They're going to spend my grandbabies future on wasteful porkulusses like education and interstructure!!! Wise up people, soon we God fearing folks will be the minority, then they'll start rounding us up and putting us in the reeducation camps. Have a nice day!!!

    April 20, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Chi Town

    That didn't take long... and won't stop either.

    The young Americans can do math... and see what's happening.

    2006 was the highest GNP in US history with 255 thousand new jobs in one quarter... the congress was won by democrats... and it's all over. Don't know why people can't see.. it happens everytime. In 92 when the Republicans took over... we began 14 years of serious prosperity.

    These number will continue to fall.. especially now with the economy turning... and people realizing we are gonna go ahead and spend a couple trillion anyway.

    April 20, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. jaye

    Why would anybody think the republicans better to lead our country...just look what they've done the past 8 years, and what they're doing now.
    They're anti-American Obstructionist that have nearly destroyed our country...and are still trying.
    They love to spread hate and lies, they also love to start unnecessary wars based on lies.
    I'll choose the democrats over the republicans anyday.

    April 20, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Mark

    You mean the younger americans that supported Obama? They where lied to

    April 20, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Michael in Ventura,CA

    All one needs to do is remember how it was under the gop-maybe the numbers would go back up. The patience of the American people -wow! We are definetly an instant-gratification society!

    April 20, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Venia PA

    If you think of the alternative (rethuglicans in control) it is too frightening. Thank GOD for the dems and President Obama!

    April 20, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Dan Holiday

    I think it is funny that, once again, the CNN poll favors the democrats. The Rasmussen poll, which is proven to be more accurate by all accounts, has them dead even with the republicans. The democrats are losing polling points like mad. No wonder. They are ruining this country one day at a time, and people are starting to open their eyes to that very FACT.

    April 20, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    November, 2010 cannot come quickly enough.

    April 20, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. dave

    Never has been there!

    April 20, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Mark

    Even with the liberal media help, I think it will be uphill for Obama and Pelosi. Its just a matter of the public seeing what they voted for.

    April 20, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. texan

    With the economy in the crapper, no one is going to be happy. Just remember who was at the helm the last 8 years !!!!

    April 20, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. TCM

    na na na na...hey hey hey....goodbye! see you liberal losers!

    April 20, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Not that CNN will ever report the facts, but there is an ever increasing dissent from the American citizen of both the Democrats and Republicans. As demonstrated in last week’s “Tea Parties” we are mad as hell and were not going to take it anymore. Out of control spending, a do nothing congress, Corporate and public welfare, elitist leadership, an above the law attitude, we have a Government of the ultra wealthy for the wealthy, and by the wealthy. A Government that ignores the Laws of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
    Well the people are not as dumb as you may think, and we still believe that this is a Republic of the people, by the people, and FOR the people, not the Wall Street, Banking industry, Global Corporations, Special Interest groups, PACs, Unions, and lobbyists.
    Print that comment CNN! I doubt it your interest is with the Global Corporations not the Citizens of the great Republic called the United States of America.

    April 20, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. ron

    that they had a honeymoon shows the ignorance of the voting public, as they've been the majority for over two years now.

    April 20, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. AF Sgt in Colorado

    Yep, the honeymoon is over and when the tax bills come due in the future, for the out-of-control spending the Democrats are doing today, the Nightmare will begin.

    April 20, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. TJ

    This poll is wrong

    April 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. David Waters

    The Democrats need to have some specific goals that they accomplish during this time of political power. I think they should concentrate on increasing our foreign aid budget for the purpose of national security. The U.S. should be doing way more to address the Millennium Development Goals. The plan to end world hunger has been getting seriously ignored.

    $30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.

    $550 billion: U.S. Defense budget.

    (source: borgenproject.org.)

    April 20, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. J.P.

    BOTH parties in congress s*ck.

    Replace your Dem and Rep incumbents with the primary challenger.

    Honestly, you could stumble blindfolded through every major city in the country and randomly bump into people better qualified than your current representatives. Hell, they couldn't POSSIBLY do worse than the current idiots in Washington, even if they set out to do so.

    Hells bells, the current congressional idiots could have taken a 12-month, tax-payer funded vacation out of the country (starting last September) and we'd STILL be 12 trillion times better off than we are today even if no one sat in their seats through the "crisis."

    It's way past time to remove the HVAC system in the Congress... if you make them too uncomfortable, they likely go back to their home districts... if they're not in Washington, the amount and severity of the damage they cause can be greatly reduced.

    April 20, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. alvino

    It looks like the bashing from the right wingnuts is finally paying off.

    April 20, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Scott the Independent

    Do you really think, with the inaccurate coverage of CNN over the past year, that anyone with common sense would believe your polls a fair depiction of the American demographic.

    April 20, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Scott AZ

    "Democrats won back control of both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections"

    Hence a good portion of blame for this economic crisis falls on those dems who were and still are in charge of the various financial oversight committiees but where are the investigative hearings into pinning blame?

    April 20, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Melissa

    They still maintain a significant advantage over the GOP. You can't say its over yet and I think saying that it is just a way for CNN to drum up dissention for their ratings. Truth is your friend. I wish you told it more instead of sensationalizing things so much.

    April 20, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Qui-Tam Relator

    As a tax paying American I'm dam tired of the game of words that our represenative play. If this is America in trouble now what will it look like 4 years from now! Is that old saying true in order for real change you have to "Throw The Baby Out With The Bath Water". 1) Restore The Constituon And Our Bill Of Rights before the Bush/ Cheney changes 2) Stop Bowing to the Banks in this country it's time to make a stand against the money barrons in this world not just here but abroad/multi-corporation's. 3) Begin by making everything here in this country to create jobs and to have quality workmanship by way of education and trade schools to put people back to work. 4) A quote from Tony Benn " If You Can Find Money To Kill People You Can Find Money To Help People". Albert Einstein. " A Person Learns To Live When They learn to live outside themselves"**************************************************

    April 20, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. ck

    lol... CNN can only promote biased polls for so long

    April 20, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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