Americans aren’t happy about their politicians, the future, the economy, and just about everything else, according to the nation’s pollsters, who say there is very little the public still believes in.
“With an ‘everything is terrible’ mindset, I’m mostly thinking about how after several years of cantankerous and unproductive lawmaking in Washington, there are very few political figures or institutions who the public trusts anymore,” the Washington Post’s polling analyst Scott Clement told Politico.
The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows President Barack Obama’s approval ratings are at a record low. A new Gallup Poll shows confidence in the economy is dropping. And overall, poll ratings for Republicans and Democrats are down, according to a CBS Poll.
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And the numbers could mean some odd results in November, with people heading into the midterm elections pessimistic about candidates on both sides of the ballot.
“What we’re really seeing in an unprecedented way, especially in the key Senate races, is that voters don’t like either of the major candidates,” said Tom Jensen, the director of the liberal Public Policy Polling.
For example, North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is holding a lead in her campaign for reelection, but not because she’s popular, said Jensen.
“Hagan has a -10 approval rating, and usually if you have a -10 approval rating it means you’re doomed,” he said. However, challenger Thom Tillis has a minus-23 favorability rating, much lower than Hagan’s.
Scott Clement, a polling analyst for The Washington Post, said the nation’s lawmakers are no longer getting the benefit of the doubt, and “the public has seen more and more issues where they’re just not happy about where things are going and the place they often look to blame is Washington.”
A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that most people even disapprove of the job their own lawmakers are doing.
Republicans are increasingly dissatisfied, and if voters turn to a “more conservative, third party candidate” that could split the vote, Jensen warned.
But while people are dissatisfied, that isn’t necessarily transferring to primary results, where only few incumbents have lost their bids this year, pointed out NBC News’ Mark Murray.
“The one mitigating factor here is that there are so many different reasons for their dissatisfaction,” Murray said. “You have Republicans are complaining about immigration, Democrats complaining that Congress isn’t working with them, Republicans wanting to impeach the president, Democrats blaming Congress, and all of these different complaints don’t really measure up to one single unifying message that probably is going to have every member of Congress running for the hills this election season.”