In the new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the public has sharply critical assessments of how the president and congressional Republicans are handling the economy, the federal budget deficit and taxes.
Obama’s ratings are slightly higher than Republicans – but by no means good – on each issue. He outpolls Republicans on handling the economy by 39 to 28 percent. He tops the Republicans on the deficit by 38 to 27 percent. And on perhaps the most contentious point in the debt ceiling negotiations, Obama’s approval on taxes is higher by a more significant 45 to 31 percent.
One thing that’s holding back congressional Republicans in their approval ratings are their relatively low numbers among their own partisans. On each of the three issues, Obama wins higher approval ratings from Democrats than congressional Republicans win among their own partisans.
For example, on the economy Obama’s approval is 67 percent among Democrats. But Republicans only give a 53 percent rating to GOP members of Congress. The differences are even wider on the budget deficit, where Obama gets 67 percent approval among Democrats versus 46 percent approval for the GOP among Republicans. On taxes, 73 percent of Democrats approve of Obama; 52 percent of Republicans approve of the GOP Congress.