A new AP-GfK poll contains some bad news for the Republican Party. Americans may be thoroughly disgusted with Congress -- whose approval is down to an all-time low of 12% -- but they increasingly blame the Republicans more than the Democrats for the legislative body's failures.
According to Justin Sink at The Hill, "While 68 percent disapprove of congressional Democrats, 75 percent disapprove of congressional Republicans. And 50 percent of the country strongly disapproves of Republicans in Congress, up from just 39 percent in June."
Sink further notes that "the Republican strategy of holding the line on tax increases might prove a tough sell, as well. Sixty-nine percent of those polled believed that some taxes will have to be increased for the government to balance the budget."
The Associated Press pointed to the prolonged battle over raising the debt ceiling as a primary source of disillusionment, noting, "In interviews, some people said the debt standoff itself, which caused a crisis of confidence to ripple through world markets, made them wonder whether lawmakers are able to govern at all."
Independents, in particular, appear to have soured on both parties. A majority say they trust neither one to handle the federal budget deficit, and 65% say they would like to see their own member of the House defeated in 2012. In addition, an increasing number of independents now favor tax increases over cuts in government services. Although they are still in a minority, the figure for those who prefer tax increases is up to 37%, compared to 28% in March.
"The results point to a chilly autumn in Washington," the AP story suggests. "They suggest that politicians, regardless of party, have little to gain by prolonging the nation's most consequential policy debate. And they highlight the gap between the wider public's wishes now and the tea party's cut-it-or-shut-it philosophy that helped propel Republicans into the House majority last year."