Has Anyone Won?

April 14, 2011, 5:00 PM GMT+0

No one gets much — or sole – credit for staving off a government shutdown last week. When asked in the Economist/YouGov Poll who they credit most for averting a shutdown, four in ten can’t credit anyone. Combined, President Obama and Democrats in Congress fare better than the Republicans in Congress, but not by much. 

Democrats also do somewhat better than Republicans with the public when it comes to assessing which party would make better decisions about Medicare and Medicaid.

But there is a lot of blame to go around. Asked how much responsibility President Obama has for the size of the federal deficit, most Americans give him at least some responsibility. A majority of Republicans give him most of the blame. 

The President’s approval rating on handling the budget deficit is among his lowest ratings: just 31% approve, while 59% disapprove. There has been little change on this rating since the budget agreement.

And overall, the President’s ratings continue to sag. In this week’s poll, just 41% approve of the way he is handling his job overall, and 50% disapprove. 

But Congress is even less trusted. Only 16% have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in Republican Congressional leaders. Only 20% have confidence in their Democratic counterparts. Half have little or no confidence. Americans think each party in Congress is more likely to simply act in opposition to the other party than to propose constructive alternatives. Just 14% say Congress has accomplished more than a Congress usually does in its first three months. And Congress’s approval rating is just 15%. 

Republicans feel a little better about Congress. 27% of them believe it is accomplishing more than usual, and 28% approve of the way Congress is handling its job. But 52% disapprove. 

Photo source: flickr ( Phil Roeder )

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