It's become somewhat of a cliche, but the fact is that large majorities of the American public seem more disgusted with Congress than ever before. According to a new NY Times/CBS News poll, less than 10% say members of Congress deserve re-election (of course, the public generally is critical of that body, but reliably votes for their own member, in large part because the opposition is usually token in nature).
Because the Democrats are in power, however, they look increasingly vulnerable this fall. From that poll:
The level of dissatisfaction with both political parties and the fact that 56 percent of Americans in the poll want a smaller government suggests that the Tea Party movement has an opportunity to draw more support. The poll found that 51 percent of Americans now view the Democratic Party unfavorably, nearly matching the highest in the history of the Times/CBS News poll. At the same time, 57 percent have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party.
The survey also shows President Obama getting his lowest rankings in the NY Times/CBS poll (which I have found to generally skew a little more liberal than other polls), with a 46% approval rating. Reporters Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee-Brennan suggest a way for Obama to perhaps gain ground, however, by going negative:
Still, the poll suggests that Mr. Obama and his party have an opportunity to deflect the anger and anxiety if they can frame the election not as a referendum on the president and his party, but as a choice between them and a Republican approach that yielded results under Mr. Bush that much of the nation still blames for the countrys woes. That is what the White House has been trying to do since the beginning of the year.
However, the poll does say that Obama enjoys an edge over the GOP. And in both the Times and in a Washington Post/ABC News Poll, huge majorities favor the President eliminating the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays serving in the ranks.