They got rid of scandal-tainted Majority Leader Tom DeLay, airport shoe-tapper Larry Craig and prurient instant message typer Mark Foley, but they just can't seem to shake the gloom.
Fifty-four percent of Americans viewed Republicans in Congress unfavorably, while 41 percent said they were rankled by Democrats. Democrats had a 53 percent approval rating to Republicans' 36.
But despite Democrats' edge over Republicans, their handling of Congress receives few plaudits, according to the poll. Almost 70 percent of those questioned said they disapproved of how Congress was handling its job, with just 29 percent expressing approval.
The full PDF of the CNN poll can be read here.
"The Republican party may still be battling the legacy left to them by George W. Bush," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland was quoted as saying. "They have also spent a lot of time in 2009 working against Democratic proposals. That hasn't left them a lot of time so far this year to present a positive, post-Bush message. Of course, there is still plenty of time for them to do so before the 2010 midterms."
Republicans have branded themselves "the party of no," for their votes against a Democrat-backed stimulus plan and near-unanimous opposition to President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul goals.
A Washington/Post ABC poll in June put Republicans at a 36 percent approval, while three other polls gave the party a favorability rating of under 30 percent. Republicans scored 29 percent, 28 percent and 25 percent respectively in polls conducted by The New York Times, Pew Research and NBC.