Voters may have just tossed a whole lot of Democrats to the curb — at least in the House — but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to embrace the Republicans they elected to replace them.
Despite the huge losses suffered by President Obama’s party in November, Americans say they trust him more than Congressional Republicans to deal with the nation’s problems, according to a Washington-PostABC News poll released yesterday. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said they trusted Obama more than Republicans to steer the country, versus 48% who said they trusted Republicans more.
The poll asked:
Overall, who do you trust to do a better job coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years, Obama or the Republicans in Congress?
The results present a striking difference to polls conducted after previous midterm elections in which the President’s party sustained major losses.
Respondents to the December 2006 Washington Post-ABC News poll gave Democrats, who had just retaken Congress, a 26% edge in terms of trust over President Bush. Fifty-seven percent of respondents to that poll said they most trusted Democrats to handle the problems facing the nation, versus 31% who said they trusted President Bush.
Similarly, after Republicans trounced Democrats to reclaim both chambers of Congress in 1994, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that Americans trusted Republicans over President Clinton by a 49% to 34% margin.
Part of the reason voters may have more faith in Obama than in Republicans is that the current Congress is incredibly unpopular. Only 13% of respondents to a Gallup poll released this morning said they approved of the job Congress is doing, the lowest Congressional approval rating Gallup has ever recorded since they began polling the question in 1974.
Meanwhile, President Obama’s approval rating is a relatively steady 46%, according to the TPM Poll Average. And in today’s poll that found Americans trusted Obama more than Republicans to cope with the nation’s problems, 49% of respondents said they approved of Obama’s job performance, while 47% said they disapproved.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted December 9-12 among 1,001 adults nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.5%.