Monday, August 30, 2010
Most N.M. Voters Give Congress Poor Ratings
By Michael Coleman
Copyright © 2010 Albuquerque Journal
Journal Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — New Mexico Republicans overwhelmingly disapprove of the job performance of Congress, and even Democrats — who control both chambers — are almost evenly split on the issue, the Journal Poll found.
Just 42 percent of likely New Mexico Democratic voters surveyed in the Aug. 23-27 poll said Congress is doing a good job, and 39 percent said it wasn't.
Eighty-one percent of Republicans disapproved; 9 percent approved.
Journal pollster Brian Sanderoff said it is not surprising more Democrats approve of Congress than Republicans, because Democrats control both chambers.
"Congress is led by the Democrats, but even New Mexico Democrats are equally divided about Congress," Sanderoff said. "Among Republicans, it's nearly universal disapproval."
The Journal Poll found that overall, 56 percent of likely New Mexico voters disapproved of the job Congress is doing, 28 percent approved and 16 percent were undecided or wouldn't say. The margin of sampling error for the statewide telephone survey conducted by Research and Polling Inc. of Albuquerque is plus or minus 5 percentage points.
A majority of independent voters in New Mexico — 57 percent — said they disapprove of the job Congress is doing, with 20 percent voicing approval. Twenty-three percent of those independents responding to the Journal poll said they were either undecided, had mixed feelings, didn't know or were unsure of their opinion of the current Congress.
Independent voters are likely to be an important factor in the upcoming congressional elections, including those in New Mexico.
"By more than a 2-1 margin, independents are disapproving of Congress," Sanderoff said. "That's one of the reasons so many House seats are projected to switch from Democrat to Republican in the 2010 election nationwide, because the independents have soured on the Democrats, many of whom they supported just two years ago."
New Mexicans are slightly more approving of Congress than the nation at large is.
According to a CBS News poll conducted Aug. 20-24, just 22 percent of Americans approve of Congress' job performance, compared with 71 percent who disapprove.
Hispanics in New Mexico, more of whom are Democrats than Republicans, had greater approval of the current Congress than Anglos in the state.
Forty-two percent of Hispanics approved of the job Congress is doing, compared with 43 percent who disapproved. Among Anglos, just 20 percent approved of Congress, and 63 percent disapproved.
Sanderoff said low approval rating have been par for the course for Congress for years.