Typically, polls show that Americans prefer divided government to single-party government. As the thinking goes, voters are skeptical of both parties, and feel better knowing neither Democrats nor Republicans have that much power. But the polls aren't showing that anymore.
When I talk to legislators, I tend to hear some variation of the following: "This is a choice election. The American people are getting two very different visions and they're going to pick one of them." My standard follow-up question is, "if you think this is a choice election, will you let the other side govern if they win?" No one has ever said yes.
The metaphor we tend to use for congressional dysfunction is "gridlock." When you have gridlock, nothing moves. But that's not quite what we've seen. When Congress grinds to a halt, other governmental actors step into the breach.