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Approval of Republicans at record low: poll

Reuters | October 19 2006

With congressional elections less than three weeks away, the Republican party's approval ratings are at an all-time low, with approval of the Republican-led Congress at its lowest point in 14 years, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said they were less in favor of keeping Republicans in control of Congress, compared to 14 percent who were more in favor of maintaining the current congressional makeup, according to the poll.

Only 16 percent of respondents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest level since 1992, NBC said.

In October 1994, when Democrats held congressional majorities, Congress had a 24 percent job approval, NBC said. Democrats lost 52 House and 8 Senate seats in the 1994 midterm elections.

NBC said the poll indicates people have been paying attention to the issues they are hearing about -- from Iraq and Bob Woodward's new book on the Bush administration's handling of the war to the unfolding scandal over former Florida Rep. Mark Foley's e-mail messages to teenage congressional aides.

The poll numbers and President George W. Bush's own job approval ratings, which have been mired in the 30 percent range, are an ominous sign for a party trying to maintain control of Congress, NBC said.

Bush had a job approval rating of 38 percent, down 1 percentage point from a previous NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month after the Foley news first broke, NBC said.

Asked who they planned to vote for in the congressional election, 37 percent of those polled said Republicans and 52 percent said Democrats. The 15 percent difference was the highest disparity ever in the poll and up from a 9-point difference a month ago, NBC said.

The poll of 1,006 registered voters was taken from October 13-16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

 

 

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