Poll: Americans Have Little Hope in New Congress
Americans are not very optimistic that a new Congress will break partisan gridlock in Washington in 2015, according to a Monmouth University Poll released on Dec. 22.
One-third of the 1,008 adults polled are not at all hopeful that the new Republican-controlled Congress and Democratic President Barack Obama can work together next year. Only 17 percent are very hopeful and 28 percent are somewhat hopeful.
"Republicans taking control of the Senate may herald a new day among politicos, but for most Americans it seems more like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, in an emailed press release on Dec. 22.
Forty-four percent of Republicans and Democrats are at least somewhat hopeful of a better working relationship among the executive and legislative branches of government, with one in six in each group feeling very hopeful.
When asked if the state of the country will change under the new Congress, 47 percent of Americans said no. There is some optimism though. Twenty-seven percent say it will get better, while 22 percent think it will get worse.
Just 23 percent of those in the poll feel the country is headed in the right direction, while 69 percent believe things are on the wrong track. "Very few people believe this new Congress is going to help that at all," Murray said.
Americans strongly disapprove of the job Congress is doing, with a 73 percent disapproval rating.
When it comes to which chamber of Congress Americans think is doing a better job, there is no clear favorite. In fact, six in 10 believe that both houses have performed about the same. Fifteen percent said the House of Representatives has been doing a better job, while 14 percent said the Senate is performing better.
One small bright spot in this otherwise pessimistic poll is about awareness of the mix of politics in Congress. Better than seven in 10 in the poll were aware that Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate. Sixty-seven percent also knew that the GOP retained the majority in the House.