Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Majority says current Congress a failure so far

One in five Americans cited the federal government as the most important problem facing the United States, down five percentage points from June but still elevated amid the tension between the White House and Congress, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The approval rating for Republican leaders in both chambers of Congress dropped sharply from about 39 percent in January to around 24 percent in August. Even three quarters of people who approve of Trump say they disapprove of Congress (76%) and a plurality (48%) says the GOP-led legislature has been a failure. About 68 percent label the Republican dominated Congress a total failure following its inability to repeal and replace Obamacare. President Trump pulled 38 percent approval by Americans in the poll.

But he pointed to some unreported results of the poll as "troublesome:" almost half of Republicans (47 percent) believe that Trump won the popular vote, while 68% believe millions of illegal immigrants voted, and 73% said that voter fraud happens somewhat or very often.

The collapse of the yearslong Republican quest to dismantle Obamacare has been a bitter pill for House Republicans who voted for the legislation in May only to see the drive fall apart recently in the Senate when the GOP failed to muster enough votes.

Young defended his vote for the House GOP bill, arguing that Republicans added billions of dollars more to help people with preexisting conditions. Just 28% of Republicans and 27% of Trump approvers say it's very likely.

First, legislative - more specifically, health care.

Independents were frustrated with the two-term congressman's embrace of a partisan approach to repealing and replacing Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Half favor the law vs. 46% who oppose it. That's down slightly from ten years ago, before the passage of the ACA, when 64% supported the idea. One in seven (15%) focus on the economy, 11% say immigration, 8% say foreign policy and 8% name Donald Trump.

Six in 10 women back Democrats for Congress in 2018, while men back Republicans by a slim 5-point margin. Democrats have been optimistic that Trump's unpopularity might spark a wave election in 2018, but the electoral map is unfriendly so far and Republicans have held seats in tight special elections. "At a minimum, they show that a substantial number of Republicans are amenable to violations of democratic norms that are more flagrant than what is typically proposed (or studied)".

The poll was "based on telephone interviews conducted August 2-6, 2017, with a random sample of 1,017 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia".

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