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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 04:06 PM ET, 11/07/2007

Democrats on Democrats

President Bush is far from the sole object of Americans' disapproval. In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, the approval rating of the U.S. Congress has dipped to 28 percent, below President Bush's current, career-low, mark of 33. And neither party's members of Congress fare much better. Just 32 percent approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing and 36 percent approve of how the majority Democrats are handling their jobs.

Back in April, about 100 days after Democrats took control of the legislative body, the new leadership enjoyed a 54 percent approval rating, buoyed by broad support from their liberal base.

Seven months later, with several failing legislative battles on the war in Iraq and other issues crucial to liberal voters, support from the base has sharply declined.

Among liberal Democrats, approval of Congress overall has fallen 37 percentage points since April, from 59 percent to 22 percent. Their approval of Democrats in Congress has tumbled by nearly 30 percentage points - from 85 percent to 58 percent - since the 100-day mark.

Older Democrats may be more likely to show up at the polls next November, and they are less satsified with their party's performance than are younger Democrats. Democrats in both age groups gave congressional Democrats a 78 percent approval rating in April. Now, among those under age 45, it stands at 62 percent and has fallen to 48 percent among the older cohort.

Approval ratings from other key Democratic demographics have become more lukewarm as well: Among Democratic unmarried women, approval has dropped 29 points, and among African American Democrats it has fallen 13. Among white Democrats, approval has gone from 78 percent to 53 percent.

As of now, the decline in approval has not translated into a desire for change: More than nine in 10 in each of these groups say they want the Democrats to remain in control of Congress after next year's election.

Q: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are doing their job?

Percent saying "approve;" All results among Democrats

                       Now   April  Change
Age 45 and up           48     78    -30
Unmarried women         53     82    -29
Liberal                 58     85    -27
White                   53     78    -25
Unmarried men           54     78    -24
All Democrats           55     78    -23
Moderate/Conservative   52     73    -21
Married men             61     78    -17
Under age 45            62     78    -16
Married women           56     69    -13
Black                   61     73    -12

Complete data from the Washington Post-ABC News poll can be found at www.washingtonpost.com/polls.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  04:06 PM ET, 11/07/2007

Categories:  Post Polls

 
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