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Americans' Distrust in Democrats, GOP Hits 25-Year High

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Republicans in Congress have moved ahead of President Obama in trust to handle the deficit and battled him to parity on the economy.

But another issue, Medicare, poses risks for the GOP, and both political parties are losing ground in another sense: a record number of Americans don’t trust either of them to cope with the nation’s main problems.

The Democrats have bragging rights on the overall measure: Americans pick them over the Republicans to handle the country’s main problems by 41 to 32 percent.  But 20 percent -- the most ever in ABC News/Washington Post polls dating back to 1985 -- don’t trust either party.  Among political independents, rejection of both parties rises to 34 percent.

That result marks the public’s long-running economic discontent and a concurrent retreat from party loyalty.  Independents have outnumbered self-identified Democrats or Republicans steadily since September 2009, by far the longest run of its kind in 30 years of ABC/Post polling.

On some specific issues, in questions testing the Republicans in Congress vs. Obama, the Republicans have advanced significantly since spring.  They now hold an eight-point lead in trust to handle the deficit, reversing a nine-point Obama advantage in March.  And they’ve regained a numerical, albeit statistically insignificant, lead in trust to handle the economy, 45 to 42 percent, reversing what was a 12-point lead for Obama.

The Republicans in Congress also stand at 44 to 41 percent vs. Obama in trust to find the right balance between cutting unnecessary spending while retaining necessary spending.

The two sides are rated essentially evenly, 43 percent for Obama and 42 percent for Republicans, in trust to create jobs, the central issue of the day. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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