Republicans in Congress have hit a new low in the minds of Americans and now face a steep deficit when matched up against congressional Democrats, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University survey shows that Americans disapprove of the job Republicans in Congress are doing by 74 percent to 17 percent. The 17 percent who approve of how Republicans are doing their job is the lowest number on record for Quinnipiac, which has been polling since 2001.

Also bad news for the GOP is how far they've fallen behind in the so-called generic congressional ballot -- a choice between a generic Democrat and a generic Republican.

When given that choice, voters now favor the Democrat by a nine-point margin, 43 percent to 34 percent. That is also a new low for the GOP in Quinnipiac's polling.

But Democrats aren't in great shape, either, the survey finds. Voters disapprove of the job they're doing in Congress by 60 percent to 32 percent.

The poll shows most Americans blame both parties equally for the gridlock in Washington (58 percent), but among those who choose a side to blame, 28 percent blame the GOP and 10 percent blame Democrats.

The poll was conducted through Saturday, so it doesn't include the actual government shutdown or the negotiations that took place in the final hours.