The Republican Party is the favorite among Americans in an early look at the 2014 midterm elections, with a higher percentage of people saying they would back the GOP over the Democrats.
According to a New York Times/CBS News poll conducted Feb. 19-23, 42 percent of people say they plan to support the GOP in November, compared to 39 percent who say they will back the Democrats. Republicans, according to the survey, are benefiting from the support of independents.
“Even though the [Republican] party itself is deeply divided and most Americans agree more with Democratic policy positions…Republicans hold their edge despite the fissures in their party,” the Times reported.
The survey of 1,644 also found that 59 percent of respondents are disappointed with the Obama presidency, compared to 40 percent who are satisfied.
The president’s approval rating has also dipped 4 points since last month to its worst standing in the past two years, with the exception of a CBS News survey in November just after the botched roll-out of Obamacare.
Fifty-one percent of those surveyed disapprove of the job the president is doing compared to 41 percent who approve.
“Such ratings amount to an early political alarm for Democrats on the ballot this year. When a party controls the White House, its performance in midterm congressional elections typically tracks closely to the popularity of the sitting president in the fall,” the Times says.
A massive majority of Americans are also deeply dissatisfied with Congress with 79 percent saying they are unhappy about the way things are going in the nation’s capital, including three in 10 who say they are angry, CBS News reports.
A majority of Americans surveyed also said they want both parties to do more to address the concerns of the middle class, reduce the budget deficit with both tax increases and spending cuts, and let illegal immigrants stay in the country and apply for citizenship, according to the Times.
The poll also indicated that that the Affordable Care Act appears to have solidified some opposition to Democrats, while historical trends such as an older, whiter midterm electorate are also favorable to Republicans, the Times reports.
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By Melanie Batley