These results of the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll show that the public’s long-running disenchantment with all things Washington remains unresolved in the Trump era. Indeed, as reported Sunday, six in 10 say Trump’s failed to bring needed change to the nation’s capital.
However bad that is, the Republicans in Congress do worse, with just 22 percent approval, while seven in 10 disapprove. A mere 4 percent strongly approve, vs. 45 percent who strongly disapprove.
Congressional Democrats aren’t in quite as bad shape as they’ve been in the recent past, though they’re not far from it. They’ve seen approval ratings below their current 35 percent eight times in the past, bottoming out at 27 percent in late 2011.
Criticism of Barack Obama for failing to compromise with the other side never exceeded 48 percent, significantly lower than Trump’s level now. During the previous presidency, as many as 67 percent faulted Republican leaders for not cooperating with Obama.
Rancor within the GOP base is responsible for congressional Republicans’ worse approval ratings than their Democratic counterparts’. Similarly low numbers of Democrats and Republicans approve of the job the other side is doing (14 and 17 percent, respectively). But far fewer Republicans than Democrats approve of their own party’s performance (38 vs. 55 percent). The GOP also fares worse than the Democrats among political independents.
Further, liberals are much more enamored with the Democrats than conservatives are with the Republicans. Forty-eight percent of liberals approve of the congressional Democrats, while just 30 percent of conservatives approve of the congressional Republicans.
Beyond partisanship and ideology, approval of the Democrats in Congress peaks among urbanites and blacks, while bottoming out among rural residents, those with $100,000-plus incomes and whites, especially evangelical white Protestants. In one critical constituency, congressional Democrats receive only 38 percent approval from Hispanics, with 46 percent disapproving.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Sept. 18-21, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 31-23-36 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.
The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. See details on the survey’s methodology here.