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ABC Poll: Republicans, Faith In Political System Suffer

March 15, 2011

The views from across America are not uplifting.  There is anger, and anxiety in these numbers made known in the latest ABC poll.  One finding is something that almost all such polls pop up with.  Voters want results, not rhetoric.

Question is who will deliver.

In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll out today, just 43 percent of Americans approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy, though more Americans say they trust Obama (46 percent) on the issue than Republicans in Congress (34 percent).

What’s more, by a 9-point margin Americans now see Obama as better able to handle the deficit than GOP lawmakers in Congress. That represents an 11-point drop for the GOP since December — a period when Republicans have made cutting federal spending a centerpiece of their agenda.

And here’s another interesting fact, according to ABC polling analyst Gary Langer: “The drop in trust to handle the economy has occurred chiefly among independents, now drawing away from the GOP after rallying to its side. As recently as January, 42 percent of independents preferred the Republicans in Congress over Obama to handle the economy. Today just 29 percent say the same, and there’s been a rise in the number who volunteer that they don’t trust either side.”

But, on the issue of who they trust to “find the right balance between cutting government spending that is not needed and continuing government spending that is needed” voters are evenly split giving Obama 43 percent and Republicans in Congress 42 percent.

And while just 28 percent of Americans in the new poll believe the stimulus helped the national economy — the lowest it’s been since June of 2009 — just 41 percent say that cuts in federal spending will create jobs while 45 percent think it will cut jobs.

BOTTOM LINE: Voters want results, not rhetoric. And, they don’t see that either side is delivering. Moreover, Americans, unlike many in Washington, aren’t dogmatic about their approach to solving our fiscal woes. When asked best way to fix deficit, just 31 percent said “cutting federal spending,” just 3 percent picked “raise taxes” while a whopping 64 percent picked a “combination of both.” The basic message: neither side has a winning hand. So, trying to win this fight on “voter mandate” is a sure loser.

NOTES FROM THE POLL. From ABC’s Gary Langer:

* The public by a 14-point margin says it’s more apt to hold the Republicans than Obama responsible if the budget impasse forces a partial government shutdown. 

* Only 26 percent of Americans say they’re optimistic about “our system of government and how well it works,” down 7 points since October. Almost as many — 23 percent — are pessimistic, the closest these measures have ever come. 

* Just 31 percent now say the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting — a new low. Sixty-four percent call it not worth fighting, and 49 percent feel that way “strongly.”

* President Obama’s job approval rating stands at 51 percent, with 45 percent disapproving, probably about as good as it can get in this kind of economy.

* Congress has just a 27 percent approval rating; it’s received less than 30 percent approval continuously since July 2008.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Gwen permalink
    March 15, 2011 12:15 PM

    This poll was the only good news I have heard in the past week or two. Since Big Business and the Corporations own the Republicans, we can only hope that the American voter will not let them own their votes as well. It is very good news that the poll shows a general distrust of Republicans and the Republican run Congress. It is warranted.

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