The survey conducted Aug. 17 – 21 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that the public also continues to express highly negative views of the way congressional leaders from both parties are handling their jobs. Just 22% approve of the job performance of Republican congressional leaders; 69% disapprove. The approval rating for Democratic leaders is not much better (29% approve/63% disapprove). Those findings come against a backdrop in which just a quarter of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of Congress, while 70% have an unfavorable view. Republican congressional leaders are facing problems not only with the general public but within the ranks of the party. In August, only 46% of Republicans approved of the job their congressional leaders were doing, compared with 54%in July and 69% in January, when Republicans took control of the House. Tea party Republicans were even more negative: only 37% approved of the performance of Republican congressional leaders, compared with 51% in July and 74% in January. Democrats and Republicans both lost ground this year when it came to how their parties were regarded by the public, though the decline in the image of Republicans was more pronounced. Fifty-nine percent viewed the Republican Party unfavorably in August, compared with 48% in February. Fifty percent viewed the Democrats unfavorably, compared with 46% in February. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.