The Washington Post

Poll watchers: Debt deal reactions, Fla. rates Obama, low opinions of Washington

Sour reactions to debt deal – More people disapprove than approve of the newly struck debt deal in overnight polls from CNN and Gallup this week. By a 52 to 44 percent margin more disapprove in the CNN poll. Likewise, disapproval outnumbers approval by 46 to 39 percent in the Gallup poll (those who are unsure are 10 points higher in Gallup). The buzz in Washington has been that Republicans in Congress emerged as victors by backing down President Obama from any tax increases as part of the debt deal. But public reactions don’t reflect those assessments. In both polls, Democrats mostly approve of the deal while independents and Republicans disapprove. In the CNN poll, disapproval peaks at 68 percent among those who support the tea party political movement.

Obama troubles in Florida – There is little in the way of well wishes for President Obama on his 50th birthday from Florida voters. His approval ratings have moved upside down since May in Quinnipiac polling in this crucial swing state. Just over half, 51 percent, disapprove of the job he is doing and 44 percent approve in a poll released Thursday. In May, ratings were reversed with 51 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval. In 2012 match-ups Obama runs even with Mitt Romney – the favored GOP nominee in the state – in polling immediately after the debt deal compromise. But Obama leads other potential GOP challengers.

Low opinion of Washington – The public continues to pile on the ruling class in Washington. More than eight in 10 say Republicans and Democrats have “been bickering and opposing one another more than usual” in a new National Journal poll. Those findings mirror reactions in the latest Post-Pew poll in which 72 percent give negative impressions of the budget negotiations in Washington, offering up assessments such as “ridiculous,” “disgusting” and “stupid” to capture the zeitgeist. In the National Journal poll only 7 percent have a lot of confidence that the federal government will make progress this year on important problems and 58 percent have little or no confidence in progress.

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Peyton M. Craighill is polling manager for the Washington Post. Peyton reports and conducts national and regional news polls for the Washington Post, with a focus on politics, elections and other social and economic issues.


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