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. Lynn

    Try to get your headings to match the article!!..the increase in views of Congress is due to Democrats...majority blame Republicans for lack of bipartisanship...62% approve of the president...37% approve of the Republicnas..I would have headed this with "Nightmare Continues for the Republicans"

    April 20, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Lori

    Ratings for the already low-rated majority Democrat Congress drops but the Republicans make ZERO gains. Yikes. It must really suck to be a Republican.

    April 20, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. barbara

    It doesnt matter one tiny bit what the congressional republicans want, or what differing ideas they have to solve our problems. The fact is that whatever the dems want they will get....whether you like it or not. Its too bad because last I checked almost half of the people of this great nation are basicallybeing told that they do not matter. why? because they ar ethe minority and they have no voice.

    April 20, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Mike Syracuse, NY

    No surprise here. As the results vs. promise gap grows, suuport will fall more. Spend, tax, spend, tax is not a strategy.

    April 20, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. John-Sturgis, S. Dakota

    The republican party needs to be thrown in the freezer because I believe they're smelling a bit ripe. The rotten meat has to cut off before we can taste test the remaining carcass. Americans aren't so hungry that we'll eat rotten meat republicans.

    April 20, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. gt

    we need a 3 rd party both the far ledt dems and far right republicans are ruing this country,,,,we need leaders who are for all the people not just lobbiest and doners

    April 20, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. John G

    Well if they did anything besides rubber stamp irresponsible spending bills disguised as stimulus maybe the numbers would be higher

    April 20, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Obama 2.0

    They all better straighten up Dems & the GOP or we are going to replace them with Cubans & Venazualians!

    April 20, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. RealityKing

    Opinion Research Corporation is a progressive joke in the eyes of science..

    April 20, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  10. Kelby In Houston, TX

    We shall see in the 2010 election what Kind of job the D's have been doing. If the policy we put in place is effective and beneficial to the American people, our strength in numbers will increase with the 2010 elections. If our ideas work, if the economy turns around, if people are working again, if banks don't need bailouts or they start paying bailout back...We're good.
    Remember Democrats, Our success is the DOOM of the GOP. If we are successful in helping the people, there is no return of the GOP ...They know it too.
    The failure of their policies + The success of our policies = NO MORE GOP

    April 20, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. disgusted

    The view of congress is due to congress, period. Most of them have been there too long. Term limits. No incumbents.

    April 20, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Michigan

    Honeymoon? there has been no honeymoon for Congress nor Obama. Not with Congressional Republicans, Gingrich, and the Faux Noise rabble rousers denying anything but that the end is near, gather up those guns and buy up the ammo! If they aren't planning an armed march next, I'll be surprised. But don't you dare call them domestic terrorists!

    April 20, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. phoenix86

    The Pelosi congress needs to be completely scrapped in the next election. Time to send her back to Botoxville, CA.

    April 20, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Super D

    dont worry, they will be thrown our in 2010, when the socialism experiment is an absolute failure

    April 20, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Molly

    Yea...I would agree my generation isn't too impressed with the Dems, but don't think for a second we are on board with the GOP! My guess is that you will start seeing a lot more moderate independents getting elected.

    April 20, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Rick

    lolol....wow! It took the dumbocrats only 3 months to blow their dream of ruling the nation and sweeping all future elections. lolol....nice job, Obumbler.

    April 20, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Doc

    I haven't laughed this hard since the hogs ate my kid brother...the GOP has no voice, no leaders and a silver-spoon upper class millionaire's daughter who has posited herself to be the Alice Roosevelt of her generation. Not credible, but highly amusing.
    There had better be some movement on the part of the GOP in making some effort towards partisanship as it seems Obama is just paying out rope until he can leave them adrift and shove it up their arses when he wants. If the Dems thought Bush was a legislative 'bully', I think the GOP is in for a big surprise, and some schooling. Rahm Emmanuel isn't where he is because Obama is a nice guy.

    April 20, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. simonsays/Orlando

    Young voters are realizing that there is a definite gap between what congress promises during the election and what they actually deliver once on the job. Welcome to politics as usual. Get used to it. Senators and Reps don't care about you, they care about keeping their jobs.

    April 20, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  19. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Congress is a do-nothing organization filled with greedy weasls working for even greedier lobbists who have sold their souls to the greediest group of all...US Corporations.

    April 20, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Veteran in Kansas

    If the honeymoon is over for the Democrates in Congress, does that mean that divorce proceedings have been filed for the Republicans.

    April 20, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. TomJay

    Less than 50% of Americans think Democrat control of Congress is good? Wow. The Democrats are losing the support of young people. Unbelievable.

    April 20, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Kevin in Ohio

    The honeymoon was over the day Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid opened their mouths as Speaker and Majority leader.

    April 20, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Again I'm censored by CNN's corporate elite who want nothing more than a citizenery of enslaved servatude.

    April 20, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. SA

    All of the Democratic spending will come back to haunt them.
    We will finally see what happens to those who indulge in

    April 20, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. SIMP

    The democrates need to stay united. We have to many of these old fools jumping on the old politics as usual band wagon when they need to stand with our President. Some are just as bad at whinning as those dumb republicians.

    April 20, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
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