Thursday, October 10, 2013

Falling Out of Favour - The Debt Debacle and Political Popularity

A recent poll by Gallup shows us the following:

Public support for the Republican Party has fallen to a record low, down 10 percentage points from September's 38 percent to its current level of only 28 percent while approval of the Democrats remains within its recent range, dropping slightly to 43 percent.  The approval rating for the Republicans is the lowest for either political party since Gallup started keeping track in 1992.

Of those polled, 49 percent had an unfavourable viewpoint of the Democrats whereas a rather shocking 62 percent viewed the Republicans unfavourably.  Nearly 25 percent of Americans viewed neither party favourably.

What is rather surprising is that 27 percent of Republicans viewed their own party unfavourably, up 8 percentage points since September.  This is in contrast to only 13 percent of Democrats who view their own party unfavourably, up only 1 percentage point since September.  Among those declaring themselves as Independents, 32 percent view the Democrats favourably compared to only 27 percent for the Republicans. 

While the Gallup poll is interesting, here is a look at the approval rating for President Obama from Real Clear Politics, an aggregate measure of the President's popularity:

His current disapproval rating of 50.4 percent is just below the all-time high of 53 percent seen back in August 2011, just around the time of the last debt crisis.  The difference between his approval and disapproval number is plus 7 (7 percent more people disapprove than approve), off the all-time high of 10.2 but it is among his highest net disapproval ratings.  Interestingly, the most recent AP - GfK poll shows that only 37 percent (17 percent strongly) of those polled approve of how President Obama is handling his job responsibilities compared to 53 percent that disapprove (35 percent strongly).  This is down from 54 percent approval in January 2013; at that time, only 41 percent of those polled felt that the President was not doing his job.

From AP - GfK, here is a breakdown of how Americans feel about the President's handling of various key issues:

Notice that only 22 percent approve of his handling of the budget deficit issue compared to 52 percent who disapprove of his efforts and that only 21 percent approve of how he is managing the federal government compared to 51 percent who disapprove.

In any case, it is quite obvious that the ongoing debt and deficit problems are doing no one from either political party any favours.  As time goes on, Americans are becoming increasingly jaded about their own political system with very good reason.


  1. Many Americans are disgusted by all of Washington and the failure of all politicians to get their act together. The Republicans big miscalculation may of been how much they should of tied the debate to Obamacare rather then to the budget. The post below goes into why Americans are angry with Washington.

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