Entries in Approval Rating (3)


Poll: Record Six in 10 Americans Say Afghan War 'Not Worth Fighting'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A record 60 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, a grim assessment -- and a politically hazardous one -- in advance of the Obama administration's one-year review of its revised strategy.

Public dissatisfaction with the war, now the nation's longest, has spiked by seven points since July.  Given its costs weighed against its benefits, only 34 percent of respondents in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say the war's been worth fighting, down by nine points to a new low, by a sizable margin.

Negative views of the war for the first time are at the level of those recorded for the war in Iraq, whose unpopularity dragged George W. Bush to historic lows in approval throughout his second term.  On average from 2005 through 2009, 60 percent called that war not worth fighting, the same number who say so now about Afghanistan.

As support for the Iraq war decreased, approval of Bush's job performance fell in virtual lockstep -- a strong cautionary note for President Obama.  Presidents Truman and Johnson also saw their approval ratings drop sharply during the wars in Korea and Vietnam, respectively.

The public's increasingly negative assessment comes after a new strategy, including a surge of U.S. and allied forces, led to the Afghanistan war's bloodiest year.  According to, nearly 500 U.S. soldiers have been killed and 4,481 wounded in 2010, compared with 317 killed and 2,114 wounded in 2009, and 155 killed, 793 wounded in 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Americans' Approval Rating of Congress Is Lowest in Gallup History

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PRINCETON, N.J.) -- New Gallup poll results say Americans' approval of Congress has "hit a new low."

Thirteen percent of Americans polled say they approve of Congress' progress.  On the other hand, 83 percent disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.  The polling organization says this rating is the "worst Gallup has measured in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance."

The current poll results are based on an assessment taken just as Congress is nearing the end of an important lame-duck session in which the time-sensitive bipartisan tax agreement has been up for debate.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Poll: Persistent Economic Discontent Casts Continuing Political Pall

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A month after voters chucked the Democrats out of control of the House of Representatives, a boost in political optimism is nowhere to be found. While a plurality of Americans -- 41 percent -- see the House switch as a good thing, that's fewer than the number of Americans who said so the last two times it's happened, in 2006 and 1994. And 67 percent say the country's seriously off on the wrong track.

The reason is plain: A record 71 percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say they've been hurt by the recession, with nearly four in 10 hurt "a great deal." Fifty-seven percent say the economy has not yet begun to recover -- up eight points from a year ago. One in three reports a job loss in their own household within the past year; equally remarkably, 72 percent say a close friend or relative has lost a job or been laid off. Both are new highs since the recession began.

The economy aside, the federal budget deficit doesn't help the public's mood, and in that regard this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, finds some potential room to move: In order to address the deficit, nearly half of Americans, 48 percent, say they'd support gradually increasing the age at which people can receive full Social Security benefits.

On average this year, 38 percent of adults have called themselves independents, matching the average in 2009 as the most on record. That compares to 32 percent who call themselves Democrats and 24 percent who call themselves Republicans -- among the worst years in historical terms for both parties. Only in one previous period, 1994-95, did independents top the political chart.

The impacts of economic discontent appear in other ways. Barack Obama has a 72 percent job approval rating among people who say an economic recovery has begun, vs. 33 percent among those who say it has not -- a dramatic 39-point gap. His approval overall has slipped under 50 percent for just the second time in ABC/Post polls; it's 49 percent now.

And Obama's gone from a 35-point advantage over the Republicans in trust to handle the economy when he took office to +11 points last spring to -1 now, its first foray into negative territory. The GOP also runs essentially evenly with the president in trust to handle the issues of taxes and terrorism, and it leads, by the widest margin of his presidency, in trust to handle the deficit.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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