WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the Republican-controlled House of Representatives engaged in a tense, government-shuttering budgetary standoff against a Democratic president and Senate, the Republican Party is now viewed favorably by 28% of Americans, down from 38% in September. This is the lowest favorable rating measured for either party since Gallup began asking this question in 1992.
WASHINGTON -- The standoff over the government shutdown continues to damage the publics opinion of congressional Republicans, two new surveys indicate, a finding likely to deepen concern among GOP leaders about the impact the stalemate is having on their party.
A third newly released survey shows that overall approval of Congress has fallen to nearly a record low.
Disapproval of the way congressional Republicans are handling negotiations over the federal budget has jumped to 70%, a Washington Post-ABC News poll shows. The poll, taken Wednesday through Sunday, found 24% approving of the congressional GOP.
The ratings have worsened significantly over the last week. A Post-ABC poll taken just before the shutdown began showed 63% of Americans disapproving of the GOP position.
The reverse is true for President Obama. While approval of his handling of the budget negotiations remains tepid, it has improved since last week, the poll showed. In the most recent survey, Americans narrowly disapproved of Obamas performance on the budget negotiations, 51% to 45%. That marked a small improvement from the previous weeks 50% to 41%.
Public Policy Polling was the most accurate during the last presidential contest:
A study conducted overnight found liberal-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling was the most accurate predictor of the 2012 presidential election.
PPP projected a 2-point Obama victory and put him at the critical 50 percent mark, 50 to 48 percent over Romney.
As of early Wednesday, President Obama was leading the national popular vote by about 2.7 million votes, taking 50.1 percent support against Mitt Romney at 48.4 a difference of 1.7 points.
The analysis by Costas Panagopoulos, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, also found that none of the 28 major polling outlets he analyzed showed bias toward either candidate in the national polls.
For all the derision directed toward pre-election polling, the final poll estimates were not far off from the actual nationwide vote shares for the two candidates, he wrote.
Rounding out the top five were YouGov, Reuters-Ipsos and Purple Strategies. The Reuters-Ipsos and YouGov surveys were not included in the averages of some polling aggregators because they're Web-based polls.
The bottom five national surveys were conducted by Rasmussen, Gallup, National Public Radio, National Journal and Associated Press-GfK. All projected either one- or two-point victories for Romney nationally.
A slew of polls from swing House of Representatives districts suggest that Republicans could be playing with fire over control of the chamber after 2014, due to ongoing budget battles that have led to a government shutdown and brinkmanship on raising the nation's debt ceiling.
The surveys, which were commissioned by MoveOn.org Political Action and conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that at least 17 districts that are currently held by Republicans could swing in next year's elections.
Democrats need to swing 17 seats to regain control of the House.
"Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of the House," pollster Jim Williams wrote in a memo along with the results. "These poll results make clear that if the election were held today, such a pickup would be well within reach."
What is clearly hurting the GOP, from the results the perception, as evidenced in numerous polls already, that they are to blame for the ongoing government shutdown that entered into its sixth day Sunday.
Republicans are losing to a generic Democratic challenger in 17 of the districts surveyed CA-31, CO-06, FL-02, FL-10, FL-13, IA-03, IA-04, IL-13, KY-06, MI-01, MI-07, MI-11, NY-19, OH-14, PA-07, PA-08, WI-07.
And in four more districts, the Republican incumbent would trail a generic Democrat after pollsters told survey respondents that their representatives supported the government shutdown. Those districts were CA-10, NY-11, NY-23, VA-02.
In all of the districts, voters oppose the shutdown by at least a 10-point margin. In some more heavily affected districts such as Virginia's second district that is occupied by Republican Rep. Scott Rigell the disparity is even more staggering. Only 29% support the shutdown, compared with 65% who oppose.
Take the results with a grain of salt it's still much too early to draw any definitive conclusions from what's now a six-day shutdown, and the 2014 elections are more than a year away.
Nevertheless, political analyst Larry Sabato said last week that Oct. 1 the first day of the shutdown was the "the best day for Democrats in the U.S. House this cycle." Still, he expects Republicans to retain control of the House because of built-in advantages.
"Simply put, theres no reason why the House should be in play this cycle, and if it is in play the Republicans will have only themselves to blame," Sabato wrote.
"Republicans Are No Longer the Party of Business," read the headline of a story in Bloomberg Businessweek days after the shutdown of the federal government.
"It's as if House Republicans are playing suicide bomber with the U.S. economy," the CEO of a furniture company in Chattanooga, Tenn., is quoted saying. "As a businessman, it defies all reason and logic."
Similar sentiments, which have appeared elsewhere in the press, were echoed more diplomatically by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the GOP's biggest financial backers.