The narrative in the media is that House Republicans will take a majority of the blame from voters for a government shutdown, which talking heads and pundits say is an example of their unwillingness to work with President Barack Obama.
But new Gallup poll shows that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is Capitol Hill’s most unpopular leader, surpassing House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the latter of whom previously took the dishonor.
According to the poll, which was conducted between September 5-8, only 33% of American adults approve of Reid, while 53% disapprove, putting his approval rating underwater by 20 points.
Boehner doesn’t come out much better, at 37/54 (-17), while Pelosi is at 39/51 (-12). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who will face a tough fight for re-election next year, is the only congressional leader who has a disapproval rating under 50%, though he’s still underwater, at 35/47 (-12).
The poll come as Congress faces high-priority issues, including passing a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government and raising the debt ceiling. The House passed a CR last week that defunded ObamaCare, President Barack Obama’s top domestic achievement.
The number of Americans who believe the federal government is too powerful has reached a record high, according to a poll released earlier this week by Gallup, though the historical numbers reflect partisan divisions depending on which party controls the White House.
The Gallup poll, conducted between September 5-8, found that 60% of American adults believe that the federal government is too powerful, surpassing the previous high recorded in September 2012, while 32% say that the government has about the right amount of power, which is a record low.
Just 7% of Americans believe that the federal government has too little power.
An eye-popping 81% of Republicans believe that the federal government has too much power. And though only 38% of Democrats agree with that view, that number is up from 28% just last year. Sixty-five percent (65%) of independents believe the government has too much power.
The Obama Administration has come under criticism from both Republicans and Democrats concerned about the erosion of civil liberties through the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which collects Americans’ phone and Internet metadata even if they’re not suspected of a crime. The Internal Revenue Service’s politically motivated targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups has been heavily criticized by Republicans.
But the historical patterns show that Republicans (Bush 2003-2009) and Democrats (2009 to present) are less likely to think the federal government has too much power when their party has control of the White House, as you can see in the chart below.
After sitting on the Internet sales tax since in passed the Senate in May, House Republicans may be ready to move forward on the issue in the coming weeks, despite public opposition, as they will draft their own measure to enact what is unquestionably a tax increase:
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) is expected to release his own set of principles on the issue in the next week or two, according to sources who are closely watching the legislation.
The principles are a sign of fresh momentum for online sales tax legislation after Goodlatte and other top Republicans in the House — including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) — voiced deep skepticism about the Senate-passed Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA).
Goodlatte could have chosen to bury the bill, but his decision to craft the principles shows he is serious about moving some version of the legislation forward.
The principles are expected to be broad policy statements with positions such as maintaining a simple system and not burdening businesses.
The Senate version of the Internet sales tax — the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act” — would have impose an enormous regulatory burden on small businesses, making them tax collectors for more than 9,600 jurisdictions. The measure would also lead to higher prices for consumers.
Yet another poll has been released showing opposition to ObamaCare at an all-time high, just two weeks before the law’s state health insurance exchanges are set to open.
Just last week, CNN released a poll showing that support for ObamaCare had fallen to a record low, with only 39% of Americans holding a favorable view of the law. The decline of support comes despite ramped up efforts by the Obama Administration to promote its various provisions.
But a new USA Today/Pew Research poll finds that 53% of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare, the highest number since they began tracking public sentiment of the law, while 42% approve of it. The poll also reflects a substantial intensity gap, showing that 41% strongly disapprove of ObamaCare, while only 26% strongly approve.
Public opposition to ObamaCare has remained high for some time, with most polls showing that Americans favor repeal. But the USA Today/Pew Research poll shows another interesting dynamic, with Americans trusting Republicans over Democrats on the healthcare issue, at 40/39, though the numbers are within the margin of error.
On the heels of several scandals — the IRS’s targeting of conservative organizations and massive spying through the NSA — and a failed push for an unnecessary war, a Gallup poll released on Friday showing that Americans’ trust in their government to handle domestic and foreign affairs is at a record low.
“Americans’ trust and confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle international problems has reached an all-time low, with 49% saying they have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence, two percentage points below the previous low of 51% recorded in 2007,” wrote Joy Wilke and Frank Newport of Gallup.
“Americans in the same survey also expressed historically low levels of confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle domestic problems, with 42% reporting a great deal or a fair amount of confidence,” they added. “This is one point below the previous low of 43% in 2011.”
The poll reflects partisan divides, depending on which party held control of the White House, with Democrats less likely to trust a Republican president and vice versa on both domestic and international issues.
There are other factors to take into account, as Gallup notes, including concerns over the economy and dissatisfaction with Congress. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that Americans are increasingly distrustful of their government, and for very good reason, given everything that has happened over the past several months and the implementation of an unpopular law (ObamaCare) that will impact virtually every American.
Though most members of Congress are focused on funding the federal government for another year, there is another battle on the horizon — raising the federal debt ceiling, which will be reached mid-next month.
House Republicans want some sort of a trade off from the White House to raise the debt ceiling, currently at $16.7 trillion, either further spending cuts or concessions on ObamaCare, and are tossing around the idea of holding a clean vote on the measure to show that there isn’t support for it inside the chamber. The White House, however, isn’t interested in having a debate on raising the debt ceiling.
Disagreement on how to approach the issue could lead to a stalemate similar to what the country saw in 2011 when Congress passed the Budget Control Act, a compromise between the Congress and the White House that led to the sequester.
But two new polls show that Americans are opposed to raising the debt ceiling.
NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a poll at the end of last week showing that a plurality of Americans oppose raising the debt limit, at 44/22.
Though opposition is strong, NBC News notes that President Obama will be able to frame the debate over the issue, giving him an advantage over House Republicans who have frequently been unable to frame a coherent message.
The push in Congress for the Internet sales tax may have died down some since the measure cleared the Senate back in May, but a new poll shows bipartisan opposition to the proposed measure currently stalled in the House.
The poll, commissioned by the R Street Institute and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), found that 57% of likely voters oppose the Internet sales tax, known in Congress as the “Marketplace Fairness Act.” Only 35% support the measure. Those numbers are mostly inline with a Gallup poll released on the issue in June.
Opponents of the legislation, which is being pushed by brick-and-mortar retailers and revenue hungry state governments, point out that the tax isn’t fair at all to online retailers. They note that the measure will impose an enormous regulatory burden on small businesses, making them a tax collector for more than 9,600 jurisdictions, and lead to higher prices for consumers.
The R Street/NTU survey also shows that nearly 66% of Republicans, 56% of independents and a plurality of Democrats oppose the Internet sales tax. Among ideologies, 65% of conservatives and 55% of moderates oppose the measure. A plurality of liberal also opposed the measure, at 47/45, though that was in the polls margin of error.
Support for ObamaCare has dropped below 40%, according to a poll conducted by CNN, even as the Obama Administration ramps up its efforts to promote the law before the state insurance exchanges launch at the beginning of October.
The poll, released on Wednesday, shows that only 39% of Americans favor all or most of ObamaCare, while 57% have an unfavorable view of the law. Those numbers have changed in a big way since the beginning of the year, when CNN found that 51% of Americans favored ObamaCare.
Here’s a look at the shift over time, as noted by CNN:
The most recent CNN poll also found a shift on President Obama’s healthcare policy approval rating, with 54% now disapproving of his performance on the issue, up from 49% at the beginning of the year. Only 44% approval of his approach to healthcare, down from 50% in January.
Here’s a look at selected CNN polls on President Obama’s healthcare approval rating. As you can see, he hasn’t done well on the issue, despite his uptick in January 2013, which appears to be an outlier:
President Barack Obama did not make a convincing case for military intervention, according a CNN poll of Americans who watched the speech on Tuesday night.
Under intense criticism from members of Congress and polls showing a lack of support from the American people, President Obama hoped that he would be able to sway public opinion by taking repeating the same talking points that had been in the next for the past few weeks in a televised address.
But the CNN poll shows that 50% of Americans believe that President Obama failed to make a convincing case for military strikes. The poll found that 47% said that he did make the case, putting the results within the margin of error.
Additionally, 58% of Americans who watched the speech say that air strikes against Syria would not achieve significant goals for the United States. There was a slight shift in the numbers on this question from the pre-speech poll of the same respondents when 66% said that air strikes be unsuccessful.
Those who believe that air strikes would accomplish the United States goals’ rose from 30% pre-speech to 36% after.
Americans are, however, more confident in the outcome of a diplomatic solution brokered by Russia, with 65% saying that such an angle is likely to resolve the dispute.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) reacted positively to President Obama’s speech, with 35% describing calling their reaction “very positive” and 34% saying it was “somewhat positive.” Though that’s still a high number, it’s down from CNN’s past post-speech favorables.
The libertarian philosophy is taking the Republican Party by storm, according to a poll conducted by FreedomWorks, a DC-based grassroots service center with over 6 million members.
With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and many other liberty-minded politicians gaining influence, libertarianism has generated new interest inside the Republican Party, much to the chagrin of the GOP’s political establishment.
Though still not a dominate view inside the party, there is no denying that the narrative inside the Republican Party has significantly changed. Moreover, libertarians have an opportunity upon which they can seize, if they’re willing to work within the system.
“FreedomWorks’ poll shows that 41 percent of Republican voters hold libertarian views. Conventional wisdom is that many voters who are libertarian don’t know the word. But this may well be changing,” noted David Kirby, Kellyanne Conway, and Stephen Spiker in the report on the data.
“FreedomWorks’ poll shows that 42 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of the word ‘libertarian,’ and only 10 percent don’t know the word, compared to 27 percent who don’t know nationally,” they added.
And the term “libertarian” may still turn off some Republican voters, the basic message of the philosophy earns significant favor. The poll found that 68% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents agree with the statement that “individuals should be free to do as they like as long as they don’t hurt others, and that the government should keep out of people’s day-to-day lives.”