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Do You Care Which Party Controls Congress?

The public’s feeling toward congress couldn’t get much worse and the blame runs across party lines.

Congress
Dave Huss, Getty Images

A new Monmouth University poll released this morning reveals little difference in opinion for the Democratic controlled Senate and the Republican led House of Representatives. Americans are also convinced that if one party controlled Congress it wouldn’t make a difference.

Many Americans aren’t even sure which party is in control in either the Senate or House. Less than half know the House is run by the Republican party, while 17 percent think it is led by the Democrats and 34 percent do not know. Just 45 percent know the Senate is controlled by Democrats, while another 23 percent think it is GOP led.

Three-in-four Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. A paltry 14 percent approve. A majority of Democrats and Republicans don’t see any difference between the two chambers’ performance.

“Americans simply do not believe that Washington has been working on their behalf,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Even though most of those polled are initially unaware of the party split in Congressional leadership, they don’t think that unified party control would make much of a difference when presented with this information. Not only is Congress broken, but most people seem to believe it is beyond repair.”

Most people is the United States don’t think the president’s party affiliation makes any difference either. Looking ahead to 2016, 56 percent say the new president’s party would not have any impact on improving Washington if Congressional control remains split.

“The poll was conducted before the recent bipartisan cooperation on Syria, but agreement on one foreign policy issue is unlikely to have a significant impact on opinion of Washington,” said Murray. “The public will be paying closer attention to the upcoming budget and debt ceiling battles as a sign of how the two parties work together.”

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