Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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Poll Finds Disapproval of Congress At All-Time High

Many voters are untrusting of the government since the debt-crisis

Image: House Speaker John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner received 29 percent approval in the AP-GfK poll, the lowest such level of his tenure and also the first time his rating is more negative than positive. (Photo credit: NBC News)

By Jennifer Agiesta and Laurie Kellman

August 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — Americans are plenty angry at Congress in the aftermath of the debt crisis and Republicans could pay the greatest price, a new Associated Press-GfK poll suggests.

The poll finds the tea party has lost support, Republican House Speaker John Boehner is increasingly unpopular and people are warming to the idea of not just cutting spending but also raising taxes — anathema to the GOP — just as both parties prepare for another struggle with deficit reduction.

To be sure, there is plenty of discontent to go around. The poll finds more people are down on their own member of Congress, not just the institution, an unusual finding in surveys and one bound to make incumbents particularly nervous. In interviews, some people said the debt standoff itself, which caused a crisis of confidence to ripple through world markets, made them wonder whether lawmakers are able to govern at all. …

The survey, conducted Aug. 18-22, found that approval of Congress has dropped to its lowest level in AP-GfK polling — 12 percent. That’s down from 21 percent in June, before the debt deal reached fever pitch. …

The tea party, too, took a hit, according to the poll. Unfavorable views of the tea party have climbed 10 percentage points since November, when they fueled the Republican resurgence. Of those, 32 percent have a deeply unfavorable impression of the movement and just a quarter of respondents say they consider themselves supporters of the tea party — the lowest in AP-GfK polling and a dip of 8 percentage points since June. …

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Afghan Schoolgirl Mass Hysteria

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Three Years Ago — August 27, 2008

Campaign Against Michele Bachmann: Day 44

Three years ago today, on August 27, 2008 — the 44th day of my 2008 campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District — I traveled to White Bear Lake to record a candidate statement for the Ramsey / Washington County Suburban Cable Commission, through its Government Television Network (GTN). I also reported on the high human and economic cost of the Iraq war.

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