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Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Historical Fall of Congressional Approval

What is worse than the "tag" of a do-nothing Congress, the label that the Republican controlled Congress held up until last year?

How about the the Congress that has hit historical lows in approval ratings and confidence as this Democratically controlled Congress has managed to do in a short few months?

Lets take a look at their fall, "their" reasons for that fall and the actual truth of why they fell and will continue to fall.

November 2006, when the elections turned the Republican controlled congress over to Democrats to control, according to CNN's exit polls, the reasons, in order were #1 Corruption, #2 Terrorism, #3 Economy and #4, Iraq:

May 7, 2007, IBD/TIPP poll asked a variety of questions of the American people and found that 61% of the Americans polled, felt that U.S Victory in Iraq was very or somewhat important:

Link to full results

Despite both of those polls listed above, we hear time and time again the reason Congressional approval ratings are dropping quickly is "Iraq", completely ignoring the evidence to the contrary that corruption was listed as the major reason for the outcome of the November elections.

Congress is right, they were given a Mandate by the American people, but it wasn't a mandate on Iraq, it was a mandate to clean up Congress.

By May 15, 2007, Congressional approval ratings were lower than President Bush's according to Gallup. [1]

President George Bush was at 33% approval and Congress was at 29%.

On June 12, 2007, the LA Times showed that only 27% of Americans approved of how Congress was doing their jobs, which was down from 36% in January, with the quote:

And 63% of Americans say that the new Democratic Congress is governing in a "business as usual" manner, rather than working to bring the fundamental change that party leaders promised after November's midterm election. [2]

June 21, 2007, Gallup announced that Congress had hit an all time low in the history of Gallup polling opinions regarding Congress. [3]

"PRINCETON, NJ -- The percentage of Americans with a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress is at 14%, the lowest in Gallup's history of this measure -- and the lowest of any of the 16 institutions tested in this year's Confidence in Institutions survey. It is also one of the lowest confidence ratings for any institution tested over the last three decades."

The referenced graph shown on that report shows Congress to be the institution with the least amount of public confidence.

(Click image to enlarge)

July 3, 2007, according to Rasmussen 14% of American Voters said Congress was doing a good job and only 2% said they were doing excellent. [4]

August 1, 2007, UPI/Zogby separated the approval ratings and specific the subject of Iraq and found that only 3% of Americans approve of the way the democratically controlled Congress has handled the issue of Iraq. [5]

Their quote:

Just 24% give the president favorable ratings of his performance in handling the war in Iraq, but confidence in Congress is significantly worse – only 3% give Congress positive marks for how it has handled the war. This lack of confidence in Congress cuts across all ideologies. Democrats – some of whom had hoped the now Democrat-led Congress would bring an end to the war in Iraq – expressed overwhelming displeasure with how Congress has handled the war, with 94% giving Congress a negative rating in its handling specifically of that issue.

The online survey was conducted July 13–16, 2007, and included 7,590 respondents. It carries a margin of error of +/– 1.1 percentage points.

On a consistent basis, individual polling organizations have been registering the fall of approval ratings since the Democrats took the majority.

As we showed above to start this article the CNN exit polls made it clear what they wanted from Congress and that was to clean up the corruption and they have not done that, they have added pork, taken pains to avoid accountability for their earmarks, suffered a joint defeat on immigration and have passed only a couple items that were made in their campaign promises.

Corruption and the callous disregard for the promises they made to their supporters before the November elections are the reason that their approval ratings are as low as they are and continue to drop.

Denying that and tying to insist they were given a mandate on Iraq, is simply trying to shift the responsibility to others for their lack of competence in keeping those campaign promises that they made to clean up Congress.

They and their far left liberal supporters can claim Iraq is the defining issue, but as we have shown before, the "moderate" Democratic supporters, disagree.

Lets see what Rod Butler, a Democrat from Redondo Beach, Calif. has to say in this report from ABC7 News:

"They've abandoned all the social issues. They don't want to deal with universal health care. They don't want to deal with the problems in our education system. It just goes on and on," lamented Rod Butler, a Democrat from Redondo Beach, Calif., who teaches music at a university.

The report goes on to say:

The report goes on to say:

While the public's approval of Congress has dropped 11 points since May, the percentage of Democrats who are turning up their noses at Congress -- like Lambirth -- nearly doubled. Among Republicans, though, not so much.

Approval among Democrats fell 21 points, down from 48 percent in May to 27 percent.

Another exceprt:

"If you manage to persuade a very large number of voters, including an increasing percentage of people who associate with your own party that you're not capable of governing, you're in real trouble," said Sherrill, who teaches at Hunter College in New York City. "That is not a good message to send."

Bush has been taking heat over the Iraq war, his decision to spare a former top vice presidential aide from going to prison and his desire for an overhaul of immigration laws that critics said would give a free pass to illegal immigrants. His job approval rating in the AP-Ipsos survey was 33 percent, virtually unchanged from last month.

The bottom of the article shows something that not many people on the left will be happy with:

Among other survey findings:

# Bush's marks on his handling of the economy and domestic issues like health care, education and the environment, held steady, at 37 percent on the economy and 33 percent on domestic matters. Last month, Bush was at 37 percent approval for his stewardship of the economy, and 32 percent on domestic issues.

# On handling of foreign policy, including terrorism, 38 percent approved, compared with 35 percent last month.

# On handling the Iraq war, 31 percent approved, compared with 28 percent last month.

# One-fourth of the people, or 26 percent, said the country is headed in the right direction. Last month, 21 percent said the country was on the right track.

The telephone survey of 1,004 adults was conducted July 9-11 in English and Spanish by Ipsos, an international public opinion research company. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Congress continues to fall while Bush's numbers on Foreign Policy and Terrorism, even his numbers on Iraq as well as Domestic issues, ARE RISING.

The president has not changed his stance on Iraq and yet his numbers, albeit it low, have been maintained and even risen a couple of points in the latest polls, yet Congress refuses to acknowledge that Iraq was not and is not the "main" issue, their lack of credibility is.


1. Gallup Poll conducted May 15, 2007.

2. Approval of Congress lowest in a decade.

3. Gallup Poll, June 21, 2007

4. Rasmussen, July 3, 2007

5. UPI/Zogby, August 1, 2007.

(NOTE: Instead of leaving you with the advertisements I usually have at the bottom of each post, I will leave you with one of the videos from Freedoms Watch) [30 second video.]

Wife who has lost her husband: