The Upshot

Voters are already gloomy about a GOP Congress

Holly Bailey
The Upshot

View photo


boehner en

It was probably a smart idea for House Republicans to ban confetti at their election-night watch party.

Two separate polls out this week — one from CBS News, and another from the Pew Research Center — find that voters aren't too excited about the new Republican majority that's about to take charge of the House of Representatives. Just 48 percent of voters say they are "happy" about the GOP majority, according to Pew. By comparison, 60 percent of those polled after Election Day four years ago said they were happy about having elected a new Democratic majority in Congress. Meanwhile, 57 percent in 1994 said they were happy about historic GOP gains that year.

CBS's poll found similar discontent, with just 40 percent of those surveyed saying they are "pleased" about the outcome of the 2010 vote.

These numbers confirm what we wrote on Election Day: A majority of voters didn't necessarily vote for Republicans because of their support for GOP policies, but more because they were upset and dissatisfied with Washington generally. Just as voters supported President Obama to bring change to Washington in 2008, that same pressure is now on the GOP Congress to improve the economy and rise above a deadlocked Washington.

Yet both polls find that voters don't have much faith that Republicans will actually be able to deliver on their promises. According to Pew, just 22 percent expect relations between Democrats and Republicans to improve. Twenty-eight percent say things will get worse, while 48 percent say things will stay about the same.

According to CBS's poll, 41 percent think the new Congress will actually get less done than before.

Those are hardly encouraging numbers — especially for Republicans who desperately need to deliver on something, anything, if they are to make additional electoral gains in 2012.

(Photo of House Majority Leader John Boehner: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

View Comments (0)