Americans Don't Want Divided Control Of Government

June 14, 2012, 12:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 6/9/2012) The country now has divided control in its national government: President Obama is a Democrat, and Republicans control the House of Representative and can block most legislation in the Senate. But the latest Economist/YouGov Poll indicates that most Americans don’t necessarily want it that way. Instead, most believe the best chance of solving the country’s problems is to have one party in control — but which party is a matter of contention.

Nearly one in three believes re-electing the President and putting the Democrats in control of Congress would be best; 29% think that a President Romney and a Republican Congress would be best. Just 12% would choose divided government.

Even independents choose one party control, but their loyalties are divided, too. Nearly as many independents want full Republican control of the government (26%) as want full Democratic control (30%). 15% prefer divided control. Among partisans who choose divided control (12% of Democrats, 10% of Republicans), most would rather have their party in control of the White House executive branch than in control of the legislative branch.

Approval of how Congress is handling its job has been in single digits for a long time; this week just 9% approve of its performance, and 66% disapprove (Congress’s lowest approval rating was 6%, just last month). When it comes to the fall election, 16% of registered voters remain unsure of what they would do for their Congressional vote. Republicans have a very slight edge among those who claim to have made up their minds.