In the midst of the fight over the payroll tax cut extension, voters have turned a little more against the Republicans in Congress. Already at only a 26% approval rating, with 62% disapproving, last month, the Congressional GOP falls at 25-67 with voters nationally now. Their Democratic counterparts are not much more popular, but opinion on them has not moved; it was 28-63 in the November survey and 29-64 now. Both independents (from 20-68 to 15-77) and their own partymates (from 53-31 to 52-37) have moved against the Republicans.
Republicans’ leader in the House, Speaker John Boehner, has also seen his ratings slip as he finds himself at odds not only with the White House and the other side of the aisle but with his own caucus in the Senate. Only 27% of Americans approve of Boehner’s job performance, and 49% disapprove, a six-point slip from an already bad 30-46 in the last poll. Democrats were already at 12-61 on him, but now fall to 9-68. Boehner has slipped by a few points with independents and Republicans as well.
Only 34% of Americans think Republicans are doing a better job controlling the House than when Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats were in charge, down from 37% in November. 43% think they are doing a worse job, up from 41%. Most of the slippage is predictably with Democrats, from 11-73 to 8-79, but as Boehner, Republicans have soured a little too. Independents fall at 26-36, almost identical to last month.
Because of the wider discrepancy in opinion on the Democrats’ and Republicans’ leadership in Congress, Democrats have inched ahead in the national generic congressional ballot, with a 46-44 lead over the GOP. It was a 45-all tie in November. Essentially all of that change is with independents, who favored the GOP by a a 39-36 margin in November, but now prefer the Democratic candidates, 38-37.
Americans' opinion of the Occupy Wall Street movement has improved marginally in the last month as well, but they still see it more negatively than positively, and they still have a higher opinion of the Tea Party movement. The same 45% oppose O.W.S.'s goals as in the last survey, but the supporters are up from a third to 36% of Americans. 45% also oppose the goals of the Tea Party--again, the same as last month. But support is down a scant point, from 42% to 41% now. Head-to-head, the right-wing movement has more fans than the newer left-wing movement, but it's closer than last time. 43% prefer the Tea Party, as in November, but 41% now prefer Occupy, up from 37%. The reason for the shift is that Democrats are now more supportive of O.W.S.'s goals (58-20 in favor, versus 52-24), and they also now prefer that movement more strongly when compared directly with its counterpart (68-11 versus 58-12). Republicans are still much more solidly behind the Tea Party (79-11) than Democrats behind O.W.S., and independents slightly favor the former (46-41).
Full results here.