Monday, September 20, 2010
With Congress back at work this week for an abbreviated session after another long vacation, voter approval of the job they’re doing has fallen to historic lows. Only a 18% of the Americans people give them high marks, down from 19% in August. Congress’ approval rating has not been above 20% since May, and has not surpassed 30% since September 2009.
The latest findings are from a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted Sept. 13-16. The decline in approval of Congress since the beginning of 2009 has closely paralleled the drop in approval for President Obama over the same period. Both the president and the Democratic-led Congress saw a sharp slide in their public approval ratings last summer. Their ratings subsequently leveled off, but fell slightly further this summer, and remain at the lower level today.
Fully 77 out of every 100 Americans disapproves of the job Congress is doing, up from 73% last spring.
With only 43 days until President Obama’s first midterm election, approval for the Democratically-led Congress are now the lowest ever recorded by Gallup in a midterm year. In 1994 and 2006, Congress had a paltry 21% approval.
The writing was on the political wall for Democrats for sometime. For reasons I don’t pretend to understand, President Obama choose to focus the majority of his time and energy on healthcare reform and ignore poll after poll showing the number one issue the majority of Americans cared most about is jobs and the economy.
Mr. Obama’s peculiar behavior continued when he returned from a seventh vacation of the year and promptly went to war with the House Minority Leader John Boehner, elevating the Ohio Republican to the national spotlight instead of launching a much needed jobs program.
With barely more than a month until the midterm election, it’s unlikely the president can do anything to help reverse the political fortunes of incumbent Democrats. This fall’s political storyline appears to be written in stone and it will read how President Obama helped Democrats lose their majorities in both the House and the senate.