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.



Yes after Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Act in 93 they went away.



Remember China had a change in leadership and opened it's doors to foreign manufacturers. The first to go was Sam Walton and he took a huge part of US manufacturing with him. Do you shop Wally World BD? If you do you support the downfall of US manufacturing and US jobs, just asking!


Ok...so let me get this straight...the Republicans pass MULTIPLE bills to keep the government running...the Senate a la Harry Reid REFUSE to even let them come up for a vote...and BOTH Harry Reid AND Obama have gone ON RECORD as REFUSING to negotiate with the Republicans...and you claim the Republicans are obstructing???

No my friends...it is liberalism that is the cancer on the soul of America...and it needs to be STOPPED.


One World Government (dictatorship) heading your way !

R U Kidding me

heres my belief in present time and at one time earlier in my life I felt differently well here it goes If you say your a democrat or your say you are a republican I think you are a idiot you need to say you are a American and stand up for what you think is right. not letting some wanna be American in government forcing you to live the way they think you should live and getting paid for doing it


Another example of the federal gov't at "work" and doing their normal good job, sadly.


Darwin's choice

The EBT card disaster today was brought on by a test run of linking the cards into the Obamacare website.

More Obamafail!

Lets see how the spin doctors hide that under the rug!


LOL, I heard it was a test run by IBM, did not know related to Obocareless. I was in a store that had problems, it must have been a rough Saturday night for some : )

Pterocarya frax...

citation needed.


google, bing, DuckDuckGo, and many others. It is called search.


You might not like the old rich white guy who has a business success rate a mile long, but he damn sure would have been focused enough on the economy to not let this crap happen. You wanted him and you got him. How's that social crap working out for you?