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Iraq Pulls Down Poll Numbers for Bush and Congress

Congress completed a popularity freefall last month, finding its approval ratings now almost identical to two other things Democratic leaders would rather not be associated with: President Bush and the Iraq war.

Factoring in margin for error, roughly 30 percent of the public now approve of the job performance of Congress and President Bush, as well as the situation in Iraq.

According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll, just 29 percent of adults approve of the job performance of Congress, while 65 percent disapprove. That's a marked drop from the 44% approval rating on Capitol Hill back in mid-April.


Now April Decline
All Adults 29% 44% -15
Democrats 35 55 -20
Independents 24 40 -16
Republicans 31 33 -2
Liberal Democrats 35 59 -24
Conservative Republicans 24 31 -7
SOURCE: Washington Post-ABC News Poll, April and September

Democrats are largely responsible for the Congress's plummeting approval rating. The party suffered a 20-point drop, between April and the end of September. This drop is largely attributable to a huge chunk of the party's liberal base that is furious with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for not turning back Bush's war policies.

Bush's approval rating is stuck at 33 percent, essentially unchanged for the entire year, while 64 percent disapprove of his job performance.

The poll data shows that the war in Iraq is no longer just Bush's political albatross, but is dragging the Congress into a similarly unpopular depth. Not surprisingly, then, the percentage of adults approving of the situation in Iraq is exactly between the congressional and presidential approval ratings: 30 percent.

All this comes on the eve of a fascinating legislative showdown between Bush and legislators heading into the home stretch of the first term of the 110th Congress. Both sides are digging in for a battle over a host of domestic policy items.

Democrats believe they are better positioned to handle this fight, eyeing with glee the pending veto override effort on their $35 billion expansion of the state Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Democrats believe that their base will rally around them in these domestic policy battles despite frustration over the war.

Today's Post-ABC poll backed up Democratic claims that their party is favored by voters on a host of pocketbook issues, showing leads over Republicans by significant margins: 56-26 on health care; 51-33 on the economy; 54-34 on the federal budget. In addition, the poll found 72% of adults favoring the Democratic-led expansion of SCHIP.

But the biggest problem for Pelosi and Reid are independents, whose support was crucial last fall. Just 24% of independents approve of the performance on Capitol Hill. That's the exact congressional approval rating among independents on the eve of last year's electoral blood bath for Republicans. Just 16 percent of respondents said the new Congress had accomplished a "great deal" or a "good amount," which is even lower than the pre-election accomplishment percentage reached by Congress on the eve of the electoral disaster suffered by Democrats in 1994.

These are frightening political indicators for Democrats today.

As Jon Cohen and Dan Balz noted in today's Washington Post, the 29% approval rating is the lowest for Congress since November 1995, 10 months after Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) became the first Republican speaker in more than 50 years. At that time, Gingrich embarked on a showdown with President Clinton that came to be his defining political defeat, shutting down the government over spending battles. Clinton clearly won, while Gingrich's national image never recovered. Clinton was unpopular -- with approval ratings in the low 40s -- and used the confrontation to pivot back into popularity and cruise to re-election in 1996.

As Bush, Pelosi and Reid take up a similar fight 12 years later, the winner may well be determined by which side can better secure the support of those independents that have helped declare most political winners in past legislative battles.

By Paul Kane  |  October 2, 2007; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  Iraq  
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It not just the war. The Human Rights Campaign, House Speaker Pelosi, D - CA, and Barney Frank, outed gay Democrat of Massachusetts et al contributed by selling out gays and lesbians for twenty pieces of silver. In the Congress our issues become interconnected with others by their efforts to betray several groups at once.

Democrats have to appear to be for GLBT rights while they torpedo them, and to appear to be for peace while supporting the war.

In the Senate Republicans and Democrats demonstrated their commitment to Iraqi self-determination by voting 75-23 in favor of partitioning Iraq. That will make the sale of Iraqi oil facilities to the oil pirates all that much easier. Then they approved the war funding bill by 92-3, with the hate crimes bill attached. Five senators were absent - all presidential candidates busy hustling the voters. In the house they tried to gut the pro-gay anti-discrimination ENDA act.

Those were Clintonesque maneuvers worthy of the Bill himself. They vote for the war funding act after promising not to during the 2006 elections, AND nobody notices because the hate crimes bill is attached as a rider, AND they set up the hate crimes bill for a fall, AND they claim they did their best, AND they're off the hook with the bigots, AND they divide up a sovereign nation to grab its oil. Slime personified.

This Congressional gross out comes on the heels of this weeks Washington Post/ABC news poll that shows that most Americans want war funding cut off (3%), sharply reduced (43%) or reduced somewhat (23%). Unsurprisingly the same poll shows that Republican Bush is in the cellar with an approval rate of 33% and the Congressional Republicans and Democrats have dropped into the sewer with an approval rating of 29%.

But the Congress is just doing their duty for the ruling rich. Here's a hint for conservatives and liberals who might be scratching their head when these deals go down. Recently George Shultz, former Reaganite Secretary of State and Nixonian Secretary of the Treasury said "Politics and the economy are all one big interactive system."

He neglected to say it but politicians, Republican and Democrat, are owned by the same people who own the economy, the ruling rich.

When you get sick and tired of it check out the US Labor Party.

Posted by: Bill Perdue | October 2, 2007 6:34 PM | Report abuse

International Blogger Day for Free Bumra ( 4 October 2007)

We would like to inform, in fact request you to know about the brutality and information blackout in Crisis Burma recently.

( for further information :

Junta is so cruel and wicked neglecting outside world. But international pressure have been getting higher through local bloggers and internet users. So now they are targeting all people including bloggers, internet cafe, journalists, even to those who carrying camera and handphones. ( what a worst in this 21st century)

The fact is that defenseless people are suffering and struggling apparently behind the international watching windows now. Junta cut down all blogspot service, even the whole internet system . In that sense , we would urge you to promote your freedom for those of unfortunate Burmese civilians by campaigning International Blogger Day ( 4 Oct 07) for Free Burma as follows.

We world request you to make know the rest of the world on behalf of those who have no more information freedom and severely suppressed not to talk and speak out the world.

We do hope a lot for your help on behalf of Burmese Google and Blogspot users.

Burma changer ( on behalf of Free Burma campaign)

Posted by: Free Burma | October 3, 2007 3:48 AM | Report abuse

You almost wonder if a better strategy for Dems would be to give Bush what he wants on Iraq in small time related budgets- say every three months and absolutely dig in their heels on domestic issues, just admit, very publicly that the Republicans care more about killing Arabs and war than Americans and the Dems cannot override the war mongers, so they will help the american people, thereby delinking themselves from the the failure to make a big change in the war desires of Bush. Since the White House only cares about prosecuting war, make that their complete identity.

Posted by: Bob Gauthier | October 3, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Every day I read the same old stuff and it's not rocket science. It's called Impeachment.

Posted by: Darrick Mohr | October 3, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

•••while 64 percent disapprove of his job performance.

enough said.

here is a lucious article...

gave me pleasure to see it all written out...


Posted by: hemnebob | October 3, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

You people are weird. Do you want these kids to serve the military who President Bush Told DEM to keep the health care as is? Lets protect the homeland and serve the NEEDY people first. No more handouts!!!!Or we will ALL need handouts if we fail in Iraq--

Posted by: Habib | October 3, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Their is no doubt that President Bush and Democrats are responsible for the approval rating drop. The war has lead to most of the approval drop but it is also based on things such as Larry Craig being gay. Their is no denying that Congress is suffering and I don't think their is anything that can be done to reverse the damage. I can personally say that if I was part of the poll I would also side with the dissaproval side of the poll.

Posted by: Jose Robles | October 4, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The war must end. Let the countries in the Middle East settle the mess that the U.S. has created. Take all u.S. military personnel out of the area.

Posted by: kickstone | October 4, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The Dems did not deliver. They should have impeached Bush. They should have unfunded the war. Instead they covered their butts. They are a sorry bunch of losers. That goes for all of them from Hillary to Obama to Webb. NONE OF THEM DELIVERED. THEY SUCK.

Posted by: Obvious | October 4, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It is sometimes frightening the state of the polls regarding Congress. I hear the voices of disappoinment and "What are we going to do?" and/or "Where is country going?" Even though Vietnam was BAAD, Iraq seems to cause a deeper worry because of the geographical location plus all the other problems in the Middle East like, the eternal one between Israel and Palestine. Gaza now in the hands of Hamas! Israel agressivity growing even more. What disaster! Not to talk about Iran, which should be handled with extreme care and PLEASE no war. Of all the dishes in the intoxicating Menu, DIPLOMACY, plese.

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