Poll: Americans find little to like in Washington

Citizens are fed up with President Obama and both political parties
Associated Press
Oct 11, 2013

Americans are fed up with Washington and spreading derision around to President Barack Obama and both political parties, according to a new poll that could sound a warning for incumbents of all political stripes going into next year's midterm election.

Negativity historically hurts the party in power — particularly when it occurs in the second term of a presidency — but this round seems to be hitting everyone, and Republicans even harder. The AP-GfK poll finds about 7 in 10 view the Republican Party and the tea party movement unfavorably, while about half have an unfavorable view of the president and his Democratic Party.

The numbers offer warning signs for every lawmaker running for re-election, and if these angry sentiments stretch into next year, the 2014 elections could feel much like the 2006 and 2010 midterms when being affiliated with Washington was considered toxic by many voters. In 2006, voters booted Republicans from power in the House and Senate, and in 2010, they fired Democrats who had been controlling the House.

"There needs to be a major change," said Pam Morrison, 56, of Lincoln, Neb., among those who were surveyed. "I'm anxious for the next election to see what kind of new blood we can get."

The poll taken Oct. 3-7 finds few people approve of the way Obama is handling most major issues, and most people say he's not decisive, strong, honest, reasonable or inspiring.

In the midst of the government shutdown and Washington gridlock, the president is faring much better than his party, with large majorities of those surveyed finding little positive to say about Democrats. The negatives are even higher for the Republicans across the board, with 4 out of 5 people describing the GOP as unlikeable and dishonest and not compassionate, refreshing, inspiring or innovative.

More people now say they see bigger differences between the two parties than before Obama was elected, yet few like what either side is offering. A big unknown: possible fallout from the unresolved budget battle in Washington.

Morrison describes herself as a conservative Republican and said she is very concerned about how her adult children are going to afford insurance under Obama's health care law. She places most of the blame for the shutdown on the president, but she also disapproves of the job Congress is doing. "I don't think they're working together," Morrison said.

"Congress needs to take a look at their salaries, they need to take a cut to their salaries and they need to feel some of the pain the American people are feeling," said Morrison, who is married to a government worker who, she said, has been deemed essential and is still on the job.

People across the political spectrum voiced disappointment.

Suzanne Orme, a 74-year-old retiree and self-described liberal who lives in California's Silicon Valley, says the shutdown is more the Republican Party's fault. "The Republicans seem to be a bunch of morons who aren't going to give in for anything. I just don't get it with them. They are just crazy," she said.

But she also said she strongly disapproves of the way Obama is handling his job and doesn't find him likable, decisive, strong, honest, compassionate, refreshing, ethical, inspiring or reasonable. The only positive attribute she gave him was innovative.

"It sounds like he's kind of weak. He says one thing and does another," Orme said after taking the survey. For example, she said Obama hasn't made good on his promise to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and changed his position on whether people should be penalized for failing to get health insurance.

"I voted for him, and he's turned out to be a big disappointment," she said. "I mean, what's the alternative?" Orme said it just seems to her that Washington is run by lobbyists and consumed by financial greed.

A bad sign for Democrats is that Obama has bled support among independents — 60 percent disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, while only 16 percent approve. As he began his second term in January, independents tilted positive, 48 percent approved and 39 percent disapproved.

Obama has held onto support from Carol Cox, a 59-year-old independent from Hartville, Ohio, who says she feels the president helps people in need. She is happy to see his health care law that offers coverage to the uninsured and to people with pre-existing conditions, although she thinks the rollout could have been better. "I think he's doing an OK job," she said of the president.

But she is not happy with either party in Congress. She said the shutdown is affecting her family's investments, and she's concerned about the future of Social Security. "I'm really angry and frustrated. I can't believe how mad I am about this."

As for next year's congressional election, she said, "I would love to see just a total turnover."

The AP-GfK Poll was conducted Oct. 3-7, 2013, using KnowledgePanel, GfK's probability-based online panel. It involved online interviews with 1,227 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents.

The survey was designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Respondents to the survey were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. Those who didn't otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to get online at no cost.



No lobbyists

Pterocarya frax...

There you go trying to subvert the constitution again. Corporations are people, my friend.


A look back to Independent Ross Perot's 1992 campaign commercials. He was right about that giant sucking sound of jobs leaving the country and voodoo economics. He was leading in the polls.


Take the time to revisit to what was in 1992 and what is in 2013.


Can it rain for 40 days and 40 nights in DC : )

Stop It

We need 4 or 5 parties to choose from and we also have to set term limits on everyone....two terms and back to work, bitches! this ain't a life time job..and guess what? you have to have ACA and SS like the rest of us. Swallow that pill, congressional f-snots!


Add no pension and it sounds like a good start. It is not meant to be a full time occupation nor a career. It is a public SERVICE, not a career.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

We certainly do need citizen-legislators, not career politicians. Picking on him because it is convenient, though I am sure there are Republican examples like Mitch McConnell, I am not certain our Vice President ever held a private and/or non-political job after college.

Darwin's choice

Only mere months ago......and Romney was correct!!




Dumb ass, do you think he is a prophet who saw into the future?

That's a play out of the Republican playbook , you incredibly stupid person.


Getting a little hostile there zzle? In the video is appears that the man was talking from his heart, after all he is a business man not a lawyer. I say let some business people have a shot at running America for a while, we have had way too many l--yers doing things as of late!

Dr. Information

lawyers have screwed up Washington like they have screwed up this nation. I agree, time for business people to have a shot.



You are slowly revealing yourself as being in the same class as Darwin's reject.

Hitler talked from his heart.
Bush was a business man.

The Big Dog's back

Repub businessmen who were President: Hoover, Bush 2. How'd that work out no sense?


Romney was not correct about anything. That's why he is sitting at home today, wondering what happened, wishing it was still 1955.


Re: "few people approve of the way Obama is handling most major issues, and most people say he's not decisive, strong, honest, reasonable or inspiring."

Told ya that back in '07.

The Big Dog's back

Told who?


Pres. Obama: “Ultimately, what matters is: What do the people who are buying Treasury bills think?”

WOW! Pres. Obama discovers the bond market!

The govt. has been livin' on borrowed cheap money for far too long.

The Fed Resv. is losing control of bond rates and yields and interest rate debt payments are goin' up - not an "IF," but a "WHEN."



People should have been fed up as far back as 1991, right after the terrorist attacks (which should never have happened). You idiots that want to make it a democrat or republican thing are blind. The country is broken; we have not had good leadership for decades and there are ulterior agendas going on which no one can stop. The plan is to break the U.S. so other factions can take over. It's too late now I'm afraid.


The sad part is, when good leaders are elected, the other party completely and utterly obstructs everything they might try to accomplish, and they work hard to delegitimize their presidency. And even when the leader does accomplish something, and it's passed into law, the other party, attempts to stop it's enactment by forcing a government shutdown.

Essentially, one group not only does not do their job, they stop others from doing theirs, as well. Which entity is the REAL problem here? (Hint: you will not find the answer on Fox "News")

Dr. Information

Would you jump off a bridge already? Washington is a mess because its Washington. Your president sucks, Congress sucks, the House sucks. Keep sucking Obamas dick, Im sure you like the goo that comes out after.


vile idiot


Tavis Smiley:

"The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category. On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible."


The Big Dog's back

I thought the Repub HOUSE held the purse strings? The President cannot introduce legislation.


"Independent Voters Fed Up With Entire Political System"

"These voters are angry with the two-party political system and do not believe it really represents them. A number of people thought a third- or multi-party system might work better in representing a wider number of political views."


Tavis Smiley is a HATER! You have to consider all the data not just that that pertains to blacks. He has done NOTHING to advance blacks! NOTHING!

All this current drama in D.C. is just a distraction from the real issues! Americans need jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


"All this current drama in D.C. is just a distraction from the real issues! Americans need jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

As stated before, one of the differences between the reagan recovery, and the obama recovery, reagan created jobs (actually he didn't create any jobs, his policies allowed jobs to be created) and raised the dow, obama raised the dow... (and his policies) increased the number of part time jobs, increased those who gave up looking for jobs to the highest , both by percentage and total number, increased the SS disability rate to the highest levels ever, increased food stamps to a much higher rate, and increased welfare to a much higher rate. Facts are hard to refute, even poor deer has just agreed with the shortcomings. Prepare for the retraction of his plea for jobs.


Blah blah blah -- Republicans have damaged America!


4$*ithead is a big believer in if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull$*it. Only sad part is he can only do the latter... and that only halfa$$ed. He can't even baffle anyone, but he is full of bull$*it.


Mr.Bumpy ,

Republicans are the bullshitters - are you that dumb ?

The Big Dog's back

pooh, when Raygun was President the companies were still here. When he got done they were moving overseas.