Survey Gives Democrats 3 Reasons to Worry About Midterm Elections
Surveys abound that highlight the great disapproval with which Americans view their government. When asked by Gallup in March to identify the “most important problem” facing the United States, survey respondents chose “dissatisfaction with government, Congress, politicians; poor leadership, corruption, abuse of power” after “unemployment, jobs” as the biggest issue. Eighteen percent of respondents picked poor leadership and government dissatisfaction as their biggest concern, which is down from the 33 percent of respondents who rated that issue as the most important problem in October.
It is no surprise that dissatisfaction has eased since October, as that month saw the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s online insurance marketplaces and the sixteen-day shutdown of the federal government after Congress failed to agree on a funding resolution. But the current level of political dissatisfaction — which is still higher than it was in September 2013 — is especially noteworthy because 2014 is a congressional midterm year, and the ballots cast this November could serve as a referendum on the current regime.
According to Gallup, President Barack Obama holds a job approval rating of just 41 percent, while 54 percent of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing as president. Congress’s rating is even worse; with the 2014 midterms eight months away, 15 percent of Americans approve of the job the government’s legislative branch is doing. This percentage is slightly better than the 12 percent recorded in February, but it does extend a nearly steady string of sub-20 percent approval ratings for Congress that began in 2011.
The widespread dissatisfaction is reflected in the March survey conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. And while such dismal approval numbers should indicate to the country’s politicians the partisan politics are not working, the results of the poll produced three numbers that should, and most likely will, cause the Democrat party particular concern ahead of the congressional elections.