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As Congress Goes, So Goes Clinton?

With two sitting senators atop the field of Democratic presidential candidates, what impact will Democrats' souring views on Congress have on the primary contest?

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll hints that it could change the dynamics of the race. Among Democrats who approve of the way the Democrats are handling their job at the helm in Congress, Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) has a lead of nearly 30-percentage points over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), and about six in 10 of these partisans say Clinton has the best shot at winning the presidency in November.

But among those Democrats who disapprove of the job their party's congressional respresentatives are doing, Clinton and Obama are tied. Fewer than half of these Democrats say that Clinton is the most electable of the Democratic field, while a third say it's Obama.

These findings parallel Clinton's advantage among who say that in their 2008 calculus strength and experience outweigh new ideas and a new direction.

In April, congressional Democrats enjoyed high levels of support from their party. Seventy-eight percent said they approved of the job Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their colleagues were doing; just 20 percent disapproved.

Three months later, approval among Democrats has dropped to seven in 10, and among independents it has fallen about 15 percentage points. Should disapproving Democrats continue to turn to Obama over Clinton, this growing dissatisfaction could alter the primary campaign.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  July 27, 2007; 8:14 AM ET
Categories:  Post Polls  
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Comments

"Disapproving" Democrats SHOULD TURN to Barak Obama rather than Hillary. Barak Obama truly does have very well thought out, new policies to offer the American people, and I predict that the more people see of him, the more they will realize that this election isn't about his race, or Hillary's sex, it's about who can offer the American people intelligence, integrity, true vision, and personality which doesn't divide people but brings them together. In other words: BARAK OBAMA.

Posted by: Marianne | July 27, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I have not followed this election cycle as much as I have wanted, but from what I have read and heard of the Honorable Senator Barak Obama's ideas, they are a rehash of old Democratic ideology. What he has proposed (i.e. assisting the American automotive industry, pulling out of Iraq, etc.) are populist ideas. Why? Other countries that have tried to save their large industries that have not been able to compete have always failed. Eventually, that particular industry can not sustain itself it the internal change does not happen on its own - this has been proven time and time again. If we pull out of the war now, then we will leave a vacuum in that region that will come back to bight us decades from now, if not sooner. If Senator Obama truly understood foreign relations, then he would know that we made the same mistake when we pulled our support away from Mohammad Reza Shah under the Carter administration. If we had not pulled our support from the Shah's regime but used our close ties to assist in a more democratic state - plus the Shah was dying - then Ayatollah Khomeini would have never been able to enlist an uprising which enabled the rise of Iran as an Islamic state. By staying in Iraq we can prevent this from happening again and maybe bring stability to a state that we have placed in complete chaos through our actions - to leave now would be irresponsible and would devastate Iraq. * I didn't agree with the war but now we have to make rational decisions and not ones that will get us elected and create an even worse situation even more horrible.

Posted by: Terence Rose | July 28, 2007 7:30 AM | Report abuse

I have not followed this election cycle as much as I have wanted, but from what I have read and heard of the Honorable Senator Barak Obama's ideas, they are a rehash of old Democratic ideology. What he has proposed (i.e. assisting the American automotive industry, pulling out of Iraq, etc.) are populist ideas. Why? Other countries that have tried to save their large industries that have not been able to compete have always failed. Eventually, that particular industry can not sustain itself it the internal change does not happen on its own - this has been proven time and time again.

If we pull out of the war now, then we will leave a vacuum in that region that will come back to bite us decades from now, if not sooner. If Senator Obama truly understood foreign relations, then he would know that we made the same mistake when we pulled our support away from Mohammad Reza Shah under the Carter administration. If we had not pulled our support from the Shah's regime but used our close ties to assist in a more democratic state - plus the Shah was dying - then Ayatollah Khomeini would have never been able to enlist an uprising which enabled the rise of Iran as an Islamic state. By staying in Iraq we can prevent this from happening again and maybe bring stability to a state that we have placed in complete chaos through our actions - to leave now would be irresponsible and would devastate Iraq. * I didn't agree with the war but now we have to make rational decisions and not ones that will get us elected and create an even worse situation even more horrible.

Posted by: Terence Rose | July 28, 2007 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I have not followed this election cycle as much as I have wanted, but from what I have read and heard of the Honorable Senator Barak Obama's ideas, they are a rehash of old Democratic ideology. What he has proposed (i.e. assisting the American automotive industry, pulling out of Iraq, etc.) are populist ideas. Why? Other countries that have tried to save their large industries that have not been able to compete have always failed. Eventually, that particular industry can not sustain itself it the internal change does not happen on its own - this has been proven time and time again. If we pull out of the war now, then we will leave a vacuum in that region that will come back to bight us decades from now, if not sooner. If Senator Obama truly understood foreign relations, then he would know that we made the same mistake when we pulled our support away from Mohammad Reza Shah under the Carter administration. If we had not pulled our support from the Shah's regime but used our close ties to assist in a more democratic state - plus the Shah was dying - then Ayatollah Khomeini would have never been able to enlist an uprising which enabled the rise of Iran as an Islamic state. By staying in Iraq we can prevent this from happening again and maybe bring stability to a state that we have placed in complete chaos through our actions - to leave now would be irresponsible and would devastate Iraq. * I didn't agree with the war but now we have to make rational decisions and not ones that will get us elected and create an even worse situation even more horrible.

Posted by: Terence Rose | July 28, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I have not followed this election cycle as much as I have wanted, but from what I have read and heard of the Honorable Senator Barak Obama's ideas, they are a rehash of old Democratic ideology. What he has proposed (i.e. assisting the American automotive industry, pulling out of Iraq, etc.) are populist ideas. Why? Other countries that have tried to save their large industries that have not been able to compete have always failed. Eventually, that particular industry can not sustain itself it the internal change does not happen on its own - this has been proven time and time again. If we pull out of the war now, then we will leave a vacuum in that region that will come back to bight us decades from now, if not sooner. If Senator Obama truly understood foreign relations, then he would know that we made the same mistake when we pulled our support away from Mohammad Reza Shah under the Carter administration. If we had not pulled our support from the Shah's regime but used our close ties to assist in a more democratic state - plus the Shah was dying - then Ayatollah Khomeini would have never been able to enlist an uprising which enabled the rise of Iran as an Islamic state. By staying in Iraq we can prevent this from happening again and maybe bring stability to a state that we have placed in complete chaos through our actions - to leave now would be irresponsible and would devastate Iraq. * I didn't agree with the war but now we have to make rational decisions and not ones that will get us elected and create an even worse situation even more horrible.

Posted by: Terence Rose | July 28, 2007 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Clinton is a spousal wannabe, who voted the wrong way when it mattered, and seems (from her Iraq vote and debate responses) to have a bad case of beltway blinders. She thinks we should treat the Presidency as monarchy and accept her as heiress apparent. In-bred leadership can only lead to tired thinking at a time when the country needs change and rebirth. Habit is no way to choose a President, no matter what gender she is.

Posted by: LOF | July 28, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama is so inexperienced he will be used for anti american propaganda for our enemies by admitting he agrees to meet with dangerous leaders without ANY preconditions. Senator Clinton was smart enough to know the most responsible answer. How? Because she has met with these leaders before. She has lead envoys for America to over 80 countries around the world. She is the only candidate with a chance of winning who knows how to handle herself in washington and in the international arena.

Posted by: mcsizzlesizzle | July 29, 2007 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Tenrice, I suggest that you read up a little bit more about the history of the Iranian revolution before accusing somebody else of not understanding foreign relations.

Your summary of the events there is about as wrong as it is possible to be. Far from not supporting the Shah, Carter VISITED him just before the revolution broke out, and sold him millions (billions in today's cash?) worth of arms. Carter even planned to sell him F-15 fighters and an AWACS electronic warfare aircraft (which by the way Iran still wants us to give them since he paid for them in advance.)

The Shah was one of the many brutal dictators who we supported because they suppressed the Communists. The U.S. never stopped supporting him. After his police killed 70 students protesting Carter's visit events rapidly spiraled out of control and the Shah even lost the support of his own military. The revolution was broad based but the Islamists were the best organized and thus able to take control of it. Kohemeni was not even in Iran during the revolution.

Yes, if we had promoted democracy in Iran the revolution probably would not have happened in the way that it did. However, we feared that the Communists (our previous existental threat) would take over and give the Soviets both an oil-rich nation and a strategic chokehold on the straits.

Posted by: George | July 29, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Is it only Democrats in Congress, or is it Congress as a body that folks diaapprove of?

It's not surprising that when a Democrat-led Congress does its job, as enshrined in the Constitution - oversight and scrutiny of Executive, especially an elusive, manipulative, lying, and disrespectful of the Constitution as the present one, the public is claimed to disapprove. The reason for this as simple as kindergarten mathematics: The media has abandoned its function and role to inform and educate the public, and instead become water carriers and mouthpiece of the GOP and Bush's distortion of the facts and truths, misinformation, and worst of all, the dumbing of the American people.

Considering the slim Democratic majority in both Houses of Congress, GOP reps. and senators' loyalty to their party than to the country and electorate, one does not have to be a nuclear scientist to understand that a Democratic party-led Congress would be thwarted in every way possible by Congressional Republicans and the special interests puppet in the White House! Is that too difficult for the US media to understand!!!

And I thought the the role of the media, especially the print and visual media, is to INFORM and thereby EDUCATE the public; NOT to be watercarriers and stenographers of the worst and most corrupt administration ever!

Why they, the media, after allowing themselves to be used as propaganda megaphone by this incompetent and worst administration in US political history expect us to trust them is a question only they can answer! Because, without their complacence and willingness to carry water for Bush, his cronies and the GOP, the Iraq debacle would had never happened!

Posted by: Dennis | July 30, 2007 7:25 AM | Report abuse

They forgot to mention that the Republicans in the same poll continues to drop to a high of 64%disaproval. The highest since August of 2006. Hm thaqt is before the election. Come on Washington Post Report the whole story and stop trying to manipulate. Now I don't trust any story coming from the post They don't tell the whole truth. Besides its the Repulicans in Congress showing the most disaproval. Hillary Clinton for President in 2008. We did want Barack Obama for Vice President but I'm not sure he is ready for that with his lartest actions. Sorry to pop your bubble Washington Post. The poll their talking about is posted on Polling reports .com

Posted by: jimmy Sanborn | July 31, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

So the overall approval rating went from 78 percent to 7 in 10, which translates to 70 percent, in 3 months. Honestly, it's such a small change that this piece is a waste of time and space. As for Obama vs. Clinton, I'd have to go with Hillary. She has the experience that Barack does not, regardless of whether I fully approve of her or not.

Posted by: D. Hall | July 31, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

MAY I MENTION TO POSTERS, IT IS SPELLED: BARACK

Posted by: ANON | July 31, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

From the outset of the campaigning, Edwards was slighted despite solid roots. The headlines was all about money -- just as were the stories. A self-made electable candidate with national experience, business and anti-corporate legal experience has been marginalized to favor a poll follower and a relatively inexperienced potential vice president. This is symptomatic of a decline of the decline in media quality. Where are today's Woodwards and Bernsteins? Lobbying without even knowing they are doing it.
SisyphusinSoho

Posted by: bfrostaing@yahoo.com | August 3, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

bicker bicker bicker. it seems to be the universally accepted fact that armchair politicos rehash and deem postworthy the same old the same old everyone likes to hear themselves talk talk talk.even if its ad nauseum. i empathize.i do the same.

it is the future that is the real frontrunner. we've endured 8yrs of consistently impoverished policies. now we want someone to resucitate our spirits,redefine our position on the world stage.table the issues for now.just give us something to respect and believe. we are not looking for a leader that will perform miracles.we ARE in need of deus ex machina to save us from our demoralizing sense of impotence, credibility and self-respect.

congress and candidates remain as always fettered by partisan politics and in the case of the presidential forerunners their spin doctors and handlers. i have not heard one constructive remark made by any of our future leaders re:iraq. they don't know. nobody knows. best to keep the cul de sac that is iraq yellow ribboned with DO NOT CROSS tape. it's pathetic but understandable. they don't want to add more mud to the quagmire, so they are treading softly w/o the big stick.

hopefully postings will become less strident and alienating.leave the canidates to the homilies. we should concentrate on who will be the best mechanic for the upcoming position.

Posted by: boredwell | August 7, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm worried at the effect the polls will have with the campaign. I'm extremely tired tonight, so here are some of my rambling thoughts as I drown down these meds for my pulled tooth, don't be mad at me for the many mistakes.

The Rock is so new to the scene, he seems to scare the old, pay your dues, guard of the Democratic Party. You see, they line up with Hill because of old schools politics to go with the press appointed, sure thing. They do this to make sure Hill comes to campaign for them and or for cabinet positions. Some do it because Bill let them sleep in the white house. Some, Like the Governor from Iowa or the esteemed rep from S. Carolina, get paid for their support. Others know that a vote for the Rock will effectively end the Baby Boomers relevance in public policy. These are tough hurdles to overcome, particularly the Baby Boomer's reluctance to pass on the power.

Think about how right B is on the issue of talking to our enemies. President Clinton tried the non-talk approach when he was in office and that brought us multiple bombing on our interest and embassy. Bush followed suit and brought us Sept 11. The new Clinton doesn't know what she wants but is probably leaning toward her husband's policy. We have clear proof that they failed in the theory of non-speak but the boomers seem to love it. The foreign policy theory that America is the king of the world reeks in arrogance and silliness. You never heard of kings of Europe being in debt to France and then try to act in a superior manor towards them (in the case of the U.S. and China). In a global time in which we live, the old way of thinking does not make a lick of sense.

At the same time, the Republican Party needs Hill to get the dem nom. If you poll the rep base they are seriously down about their field. The only way to even think about winning next year is to get the base of the party fired up. The one way you can do that is to attach the name Clinton to anything. So, every time you see a pundit on TV who claims to be with the Republican Party, they automatically say Hillary did well no matter what it was. If the Rock has to fight both the Republican Party and the Clinton machine, this is going to be a tough race.

Hill is successful as painting The Rock as inexperienced. I think its time to start painting her as a panderer and liar. Start from simple things like her changing of her accent when speaking to different groups, to her constantly changing views on everything. She said she would take nukes off the table last year, now she attacks B for saying he would. Her husband is responsible for NAFTA, she turns on the program it at a union forum. Her husband is responsible for his "War on Drugs", and then she talks about black men and jail at an African American Media Forum. She spoke about speaking to enemy leaders around the word, then strikes Obama for saying that he would do it. Her husband is responsible for Don't ask Don't tell, then she talks about gays rights. The list goes on and on, Trust.

The problem with these exchanges is not that B was right on the issues, which he is, it is the Clinton power over the press. The press is so quick to try and give it to Clinton that they report everything slanted. Why does B saying he would speak with enemies paint him as inexperienced? It is just as the Clinton campaign wants it. Why does the fact that B says nukes off the table and he is naïve. Clinton said it a year ago. It is like the press simply states all of Clinton's talking points. It is a good thing, I imagine, to finally have a candidate that can control the press and such, but I don't want just a win, I want to change the World.

Plus, everyone please remind people that the dem nom does not mean she will be the president. It simply means someone who can easily be attacked on all of the things I just mentioned will be our nomination. The Republican Party is licking their chops at facing Hill. These things that I have but together are simply nice ways to say the things that I have said. The Republican Party will not be half as nice as I was. All that she has said is on record and will make interesting commercials.


I know that if I start an attack ad blitz, the Rock will prob kick me off of his page, but she has to be put on the defensive. I was thinking, drop the word insider and add panderer. New gen gets it, old gen doesn't. You need to start thinking old school politics. The line linking her to insiders and lobbyist is not working, yet, but that's a good one. Keep her on the defensive about it. Also attack her strength. She continues to claim strength and leadership, we can develop a line that says as a one term senator, she wasn't ready to perform that duty in term one, as her vote for the war and years supporting Bush tell us. How then can she claim to be the one ready from day one when she failed on the most important vote she had a senator? Also, it is very important to remember that she did not just vote for the war, she was a champion for the war up until last year.

Posted by: Kwame | August 12, 2007 8:08 PM | Report abuse

WOW!! it doesn't matter i think Obama is very experienced and is very smart. i choose him better than clinton. HE IS the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2007 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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