Candidates running for Congress this year do so amid Americans’ sustained dissatisfaction with elected officials in Washington, concern their financial picture is not improving, and pessimism about the course the country is taking.
Approval ratings for both the Republicans and Democrats in Congress remain low. The president’s overall job approval rating, although somewhat improved from August, remains upside down as does voters’ assessments of his handling of the economy. But, a majority of voters say their impression of President Obama will not be a factor in deciding their vote for Congress in November.
Americans, generally, expect their family’s finances to remain about the same in the coming year. However, there has been a decline in the proportion of those who think their financial picture will improve, and an increase in those who think it will get worse. About six in ten Americans still think the country is off course which has barely improved since August.
Registered voters divide over whether a Democrat or a Republican would better serve their district in Congress. Yet, a plurality of voters believes the Republicans would do a better job handling the threat of terrorism.
“The mid-term elections are occurring at a time when voters have few good words to say about political leadership in Washington,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. “Americans are anxious about their own finances and lack confidence in the direction of the nation.”
Looking to the Future