No Honeymoon: Public Approval of GOP Midterm Win Is Down 22 Points from Approval of Dems’ Win in 2006

chart-enthusiasm-gap-over-gop-winSwing voters gave Pres. Obama and the Democrats in Congress less than 22 months to resolve the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the 1929 financial meltdown that took nearly a decade to resolve.

Now polling suggests they’ll give incoming GOP House Speaker John Boehner an even shorter honeymoon, if he gets one at all.

These voters demand instant gratification, and poll data suggests that Boehner and his caucus, which will include dozens of tea-bagger political neophytes and clueless amateurs, will have a very few months to put the economy right.

As has been noted here before, in the run-up to the midterms, poll after poll showed that Republicans in Congress were the least popular political entities among voters. Their disapproval ratings were consistently higher than the Democrats, sometimes by double-digit margins. And yet, at the same time they were expressing their disdain for Republicans in Washington, poll after poll showed that non-aligned voters were committed to putting them back into power.

Exit polls from Nov. 2 showed that, generally speaking, 95 percent of Democrats voted for Democrats and 95 percent of Republicans voted for Republicans. However, no-party voters tilted to the GOP by roughly a 60/40 margin.

And now that the dust is settling from Election Day, it appears that less than half the public is happy that the GOP is back in power, a significant drop from the nearly two-thirds who were happy in 2006 when the Democrats won both houses of Congress, according to a new poll from Pew Research:

The public, voters and non-voters alike, has a subdued reaction to the Republican Party’s midterm election victory. Four years ago, the response to the Democrats regaining full control of Congress was far more positive, as it was in 1994 when the GOP won a historic victory. Fewer people today say they are happy about the Republican victory, approve of the GOP’s plans for the future, and far fewer believe Republicans will be successful in getting their programs passed into law.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Nov. 4-7 among 1,255 adults, finds 48 percent saying they are happy that the Republican Party won control of the House while 34 percent are unhappy. Four years ago, 60 percent said they were happy the Democrats won full control of Congress, compared with just 24 percent who were unhappy. That mirrored the public’s reaction in December 1994 to the GOP winning control of Congress for the first time in 40 years (57 percent happy vs. 31 percent unhappy).

In the current survey, 52 percent of those who said they voted in the Nov. 2 election were happy with the outcome compared with 42 percent of non-voters. Still, more voters in 2006 (60 percent) said they were happy with the Democrats’ victory.

The public has a mixed reaction to the Republican policies and plans for the future: 41 percent approve, while nearly as many (37 percent) disapprove. Approval is somewhat greater among voters (45 percent) than among non-voters (35 percent). But on balance, both the general public and voters express less positive views of the GOP’s policies than they did of the Democrats’ proposals after the 2006 election.

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