Friday, August 31, 2012

A Discontented America Enters the Final Election Countdown

As the presidential party conventions pass the halfway mark and the campaigns enter their final two months, Americans are at record levels of dissatisfaction.  Less than one-quarter of Americans are “satisfied with the way things are going in the United States at this time.”  And, while the level of dissatisfaction varies by party, even Democrats are 2-to-1 dissatisfied.

Much of the dissatisfaction is aimed at the federal government and is affecting the election.  Only 10 percent of Americans approve how Congress is handling its job.

Record lows accompany major turnovers in congressional elections in 1994, 2006, 2008 and 2010 (below 20 percent).  Democrats (9%), independents (11%) and Republicans (10%) are in agreement Congress’ performance is inadequate.  But, it is not clear there will be a sweep of the Republican House majority.  Because anger appears to be generalized and bi-partisan, it is possible individuals in both parties are vulnerable and neither party will receive sufficient benefit to change control of Congress.

The one candidate who is struggling is the President.  The record dissatisfaction with the direction of the country (23% satisfied, 75% dissatisfied) and with the economy and jobs the top issues of concern and the President’s approval of handling the economy at only 36 percent, the President enters his convention and the final quarter of the yearlong campaign still trying to find a secure lead.

See Gallup polls:
U.S. satisfaction levels remain depressed
Congress approval ties all-time low at 10%
Americans continue to give Obama low marks on the economy

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