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Congress more unpopular than ever

Updated: November 4, 2011 11:51AM



WASHINGTON — Americans are plenty angry at Congress in the aftermath of the debt crisis and Republicans could pay the greatest price, a new Associated Press-GfK poll suggests.

The survey, conducted Aug. 18-22, found that approval of Congress has dropped to its lowest level in AP-GfK polling — 12 percent. That’s down from 21 percent in June, before the debt deal reached fever pitch.

The results indicate, too, that the question of trust remains up for grabs. Republicans and Democrats statistically tied, 40 percent to 43 percent respectively, when respondents were asked which party they trust more to handle the budget deficit. Nearly a third of independents said they trust neither party on the issue.

Much about the next election hinges on independent voters, the ever-growing group fiercely wooed by campaigns for years. Among them, 65 percent say they want their own House representative tossed out in 2012, compared with 53 percent of respondents generally.

This group, too, is helping fuel the shift toward raising taxes as a way to balance the budget. The poll found that among independents, 37 percent now say that increasing taxes should be the focus of the fiscal dealmakers, over cutting government services. That’s up nine points from March.

And the backlash was personal. Boehner won approval from only 29 percent of respondents. That’s the lowest such level of his tenure.

The Tea Party, too, took a hit. Unfavorable views of the Tea Party have climbed 10 percentage points since November, when they fueled the Republican resurgence. Now 32 percent have a deeply unfavorable impression of the movement and just a quarter of respondents say they consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party.

AP



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