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Polls: Americans skeptical of leaders, economy

Polls: Americans skeptical of leaders, economy

OUTLOOK NOT SO BRIGHT: New polls show Americans have a bleak view of the health of the economy. Photo: Associated Press

By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans surveyed after the political standoff that shut down the U.S. government for more than two weeks are skeptical of the efficacy of their Congressional leaders and pessimistic about the current and future health of the economy, according to polls released on Tuesday.

Only 4 percent of those surveyed by USA Today/Princeton Survey Research said Congress would function worse if every member was replaced, and half said it would fare better.

More than 70 percent of those surveyed in a CNN/ORC International poll, also released on Tuesday, said that the country’s economic conditions are poor right now, and 6 in 10 predicted it would be the same a year from now.

More than 70 percent also said that most members of Congress do not deserve re-election, with nearly 4 in 10 saying the same of their own representative, all-time highs for the CNN/ORC International poll.

More than half of Americans responding to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday blamed Republicans in Congress for the standoff over budget, 29 percent held President Barack Obama responsible and 15 percent faulted both political parties equally.

Last week a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed nearly one-third of Americans were dissatisfied with the agreement to reopen the government, with nearly half of those saying they did not believe it resolved the underlying differences that led to the stalemate in the first place.

All polls were conducted in the days immediately following the Oct. 16 deal approved by Congress and signed by Obama that ended the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government, when more than 800,000 workers were furloughed.

The government shutdown, negotiations and eventual deal to raise the country’s borrowing limit and reopen the government have hurt the approval ratings of Congressional Republicans more than other groups, the polls show.

“People were extremely upset with the process and very unamused, but this has absolutely been more damaging for Republicans,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark told Reuters. “There doesn’t seem to be a real winner.”

The USA Today/Princeton Survey Research poll surveyed 1,001 Americans from Oct. 17 to 20 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

ORC International polled 841 Americans for CNN by telephone from Oct. 18 to 20, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll of 1,002 Americans was conducted from Oct. 17 to 20, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted on October 17 and 18 surveyed 516 Americans online, with a credibility interval, similar to a margin of error, of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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