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53% Think Neither Political Party Represents the American People

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Voters continue to believe Democrats have more of a plan for the future than Republicans do, but most again say neither party represents the public.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people. That’s up six points from 47% last October and matches the previous high found in June 2012 during the last national election cycle. Just 28% disagree, while 19% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But a plurality (47%) believes the Democratic Party has a plan for where it wants to take the nation. That’s up slightly from the low 40s in prior surveys back to February 2010.  Thirty percent (30%) think President Obama’s party does not have a plan for the future. Twenty-three percent (23%) are undecided.

By contrast, 38% think the Republican Party has a plan for where it wants to take the nation, but slightly more (40%) disagree. Twenty-two percent (22%) are not sure. This is generally in line with past surveys. Belief that the GOP has a plan for the future jumped to a high of 54% in June 2012 but fell back to previous levels after that.

Just six percent (6%) of voters now think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Seventy-two percent (72%) say it would be better for the country if most incumbents in Congress were defeated this November.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on April 19-20, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Republicans control the House of Representatives, while Democrats hold the majority in the Senate. The GOP is expected to hold onto the House in this November’s elections but needs to pick up six new seats to win control of the Senate.

If Democrats win control of Congress, most voters (55%) believe there will be a noticeable change in the lives of most Americans. Slightly fewer voters (49%) think there will be a noticeable change in the lives of most Americans if Republicans win control of Congress.

Interestingly, 52% of Republicans and a plurality (44%) of Democrats agree that neither major political party is the party of the American people. But 65% of voters not affiliated with either party feel that way.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of Democrats think their party has a plan for where it wants to take the nation. Fifty-six percent (56%) of GOP voters say the same of their party. Among unaffiliated voters, however, only 40% think Democrats have a plan for the future, and even fewer (32%) believe that of Republicans.

Most Republican voters think their representatives in Congress have lost touch with the party’s base over the last several years, while most Democrats believe their Congress members have done a good job representing what their party stands for.

Generally speaking, the younger the voter, the more likely he or she is to believe that neither party represents the American people. Men are more skeptical than women. Blacks are less doubting than whites and other minority voters are.

Liberals believe much more strongly than moderates and conservatives that Democrats have a plan for the future. Conservative voters are more likely to believe the GOP has a plan for where it wants to take the nation.

During the partial federal government shutdown last October, 50% of all voters described the GOP congressional agenda as extreme, while 46% said the same of the Democratic agenda.

Only 19% now trust the federal government to do the right thing most or nearly all the time.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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