In any case, especially given the sour economic mood, no one in Washington's wearing a halo. The Republicans in Congress have a 34 percent approval rating overall; the Democrats in Congress are right alongside them at 36 percent. Both are less popular than Obama, with his 47 percent job approval rating, itself a single point from his career low.
Boehner, personally, does better than his party overall, with 43 percent approval for his work; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, lags, with 33 percent approval.
SNIT -- These kinds of ratings mark not only the political hazards of deficit-reduction, but the public's sour mood more generally, fueled by the still-difficult economy. As noted, as weak as Obama is on the economy, approval of the Republicans in Congress on this critical issue is weaker still.
The key reason: disproportionate defections in the GOP base. Democrats are staying loyal to Obama; 75 percent approve of his handling of the economy. Among Republicans, though, many fewer, 58 percent, approve of their party's economic performance. That makes the economy -- certain to be a central issue in the 2012 presidential campaign -- a knife that cuts both ways.
This ABC News-Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone April 14-17, 2011, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points.
The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.