Breaking news. Americans, who were not exactly the biggest fans of Congress and partisan politics in general, are upset about the gridlock in Washington. But a new poll finds that debt ceiling crisis seems to have really pushed the traditional standards of American disgust.
A new Pew Research/Washington Post survey asked 1,001 adults about the words they associated with the debt debate. The most cited? “Ridiculous, disgusting, stupid, and frustrating,” along with “terrible, disappointing, childish, and joke.”
Along with a general displeasure of the debate’s tenor, those polled weighed in on individual leaders and their role in the negotiations. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner took similar hits, with 37% of respondents saying they “thought less of” Obama because of his role in the debt talks, with 34% saying that about Boehner. But general ratings of Congressional parties showed some divergence. 42% said they thought less of Congressional Republicans because of the debate, with 30% saying the same about Democrats.
In the end however, it seems the Pew/WaPo survey really shows that the debate worsened the already existing ideological divide. From the report:
Within both parties, negative reactions to the opposing party’s leaders are far stronger than positive impressions of their own party leaders. For example, 61% of Republicans say their impression of Barack Obama has worsened, while just 32% say their impression of Boehner has improved. Similarly, 51% of Democrats say they have a less favorable view of Boehner today, while 34% have a more positive impression of Obama. Among independents, evaluations of leaders from both parties are more likely to have worsened than improved. But in all cases about half of independents say their impressions have not changed.
The Pew/WaPo poll was conducted from July 28th to 31st and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.