Negative Views of New Congress Cross Party Lines
Republicans Want GOP Leaders to Challenge Obama More Often
Unlike after some previous partisan turnovers on Capitol Hill, negative assessments of the new Congress now cross party lines. Today, just 41% of Republicans approve of the job their party’s leaders in Congress are doing. By comparison, in April 2011, 60% of Republicans approved of GOP leaders’ job performance and in April 1995, 78% approved of GOP leadership’s policies and proposals.
And just 37% of Republicans say their party’s leaders are keeping their campaign promises, while 53% say they are not. In 2011, after the party won its House majority, 54% said GOP leaders were keeping promises. And in April 1995 — as the Republican-led Congress hit the 100-day milestone — fully 80% of Republicans said this.
The survey finds deep differences in how Republicans and Democrats want President Obama and GOP leaders to deal with issues. Fully 75% of Republicans want GOP leaders to challenge Obama more often; just 15% say they are handling relations with the president about right and 7% say GOP leaders should go along with Obama more often.
Today, more Republicans say they disapprove (55%) than approve (41%) of the Republican congressional leadership’s job performance. In February, Republican evaluations were more positive (50% of Republicans approved of the GOP leadership’s job performance, 44% disapproved). And this shift in opinion is primarily seen among conservative Republicans: 54% approved of GOP congressional leaders’ job performance in February, today just 41% approve.
On a set of three current issues – government spending, illegal immigration and same-sex marriage – rank-and-file Republicans are much more critical of how their party has dealt with each than Democrats are of their own party’s performance.
Fewer than four-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaners say the Republican Party is doing a good job representing their views on the issues of government spending (35%), illegal immigration (34%) and same-sex marriage (29%). On all three issues, majorities of Republicans say their party is not doing a good job representing their views.
Republican ratings of their party on these issues are no better than they were in a September 2014 survey, prior to the GOP winning control of the Senate in the November midterm elections.
We’re almost five months into this Congress, Republicans run both ends of The Hill. So far, they have not yet sent President Obama a piece of legislation blocking his pen-and-phone immigration amnesty, repealing ObamaDontCare or at least its worst element, and just yesterday the Senate passed a trade bill whose details are more closely guarded than our nuclear secrets, with only five Republicans (Sessions, Paul, Lee, Collins, Shelby) voting no. Come to think of it, what the hell have they done?