We've been hearing a lot about Bush's low approval ratings, but what about the new Democratic congress? Despite the fact that they won the 2006 elections, Democrats' poll numbers are actually lower than that of President Bush.
If the Democrats have had a few laughs looking at approval ratings for George Bush, the laughter has probably stopped this morning after Gallup's latest survey. It shows that Congress has even lower ratings than the President, and the number has dropped consistently since the Democrats first took charge [...]
How bad is it? Even Democrats mostly disapprove of Congress. Only 37% of the majority party's voters think that Congress has performed well; Gallup doesn't mention the percentage that disapproves, but it seems almost certain that it outstrips 37%, unless more than 26% are clueless. Congress gets its worst ratings not from Republicans (25%), but from independents (24%). That should get the attention of leadership in both chambers, who owe their majorities to those independents.
The decline has not taken long, and is ironically steepest among Democrats. Approval ratings for Congress peaked at an embarrassing 37% in February, just after Congress convened. Democrats at that time gave it a meager 44% approval at that time. Since then, support has dropped 7 points among Democrats and nine points among independents.
Norm Coleman said yesterday that he believed the midterms to have a practical message rather than an ideological mandate. These numbers tend to underscore that analysis.