GALLUP: Approval of Congress Plunges Again After Brief Uptick

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By: E&P Staff

Public approval of the new Democratic Congress climbed in January and February — but has now plunged back to earth, according to a new Gallup poll released today. Just 28% now offer a good grade to Congress, down 9% in just one month.

Gallup is not sure why, but speculates that part of it could be that the “positive” message of the Democrats is wearing out — and they have also disappointed those who expected them to actually do something to change policy in Iraq.

“The modest uptick in approval of the job being done by Congress has dissipated for the most part after only two months,” Gallup’s director, Frank Newport, writes, based on the unusually large sample (over 2000 Americans) in the March 11-14 survey.

“Congress job approval is back down to levels quite similar to where it was in 2006. Democrats have lost a good deal of the positivity exhibited in the first two months of the year after their party took over.”

Job approval among Democrats has fallen back, to a lesser degree among independents. Republicans.

Newport concludes: “It is difficult to pinpoint precisely what is behind the drop off in optimism about Congress among Democrats. One possibility is that Democrats are disappointed that their party has been unable to do anything substantive about the Iraq war — the dominant issue in last November’s midterm elections. The increase in the price of gas and/or other economic concerns may also be a factor. Overall satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States and ratings of economic optimism are both down in the March Gallup Poll.”

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