Voters Downgrade Washington


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A new survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Democracy Corps reveals voters’ growing anger with Washington. This survey fielded at a unique time – just as Standard and Poor’s announced its credit rating downgrade. As a result, these results capture the immediate reactions of American voters – and their initial backlash against Congressional Republicans in particular and Washington in general.

These results capture the immediate reactions of American voters: their initial backlash against Washington in general and against Congressional Republicans in particular.[1] The picture is bleak.  Three-quarters of voters now believe the country is on the wrong track, up 14 points since June; a mere 16 percent say we are on the right track, the lowest in our tracking since the 2008 financial crisis.  This is clearly driven by frustration with, and antipathy toward, the way things work (or don’t) in Washington. The debt ceiling debate was a kind of mutually assured destruction for the two parties; both parties in Congress, and leaders from each side, have suffered the consequences.  The two parties get the largest downgrade – though the Republicans in the House saw the biggest rise in disapproval and their Speaker, the largest rise in negative sentiment.

[1] This memo is based on a national survey of 1480 likely 2012 voters (1000 weighted) August 6-10, 2011 conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices, Women Vote: Unless otherwise noted, margin of error= +/- 2.5 percentage points at 95 percent confidence.

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