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76% of GOP Voters Rate Their Own Congress as Out of Touch

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

No wonder Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are winning the Republican primaries: GOP voters are more fed up than ever with their elected representatives in Washington, D.C.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Likely Republican Voters say Republicans in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters from throughout the nation over the past several years, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. That’s up from 65% in January of last year  and the highest finding since we first asked this question just after Election Day in November 2008.

Just 20% of Republicans now think their elected representatives in Congress are doing a good job representing the party’s values. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

By contrast, 64% of Democrats think Democrats in Congress are doing a good job representing their party’s values, up from 46% in January 2015.  Only 30% say their representatives have lost touch with the party’s base.

What’s even more startling about these findings is that Republicans have had full control of the Congress since January of last year after winning a Senate majority in the 2014 midterm elections. But just 13% of both Republicans and Democrats now think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Unaffiliated voters are even more critical.

Among all voters, only 13% think Republicans in Congress have done a good job representing GOP values, while 40% say congressional Democrats have done a good job representing what their party stands for. Seventy-six percent (76%) feel Republicans in Congress have lost touch with their voters, compared to 49% who think that’s true of congressional Democrats.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 20-21, 2016 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.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters are angry at Congress, including 53% who are very angry. Republican voters are just as angry at the GOP-led Congress as Democrats and unaffiliateds are.

Most voters not affiliated with either major party think both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are out of step with those in their respective parties. But unaffiliateds are more likely to believe congressional Democrats do a better job than their GOP counterparts representing their party’s values.

The older the voter, the more likely he or she is to feel that both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are out of touch with their base. Middle-aged voters are the most likely to say that Democrats in Congress have done a good job representing their supporters.

There’s little racial difference of opinion when it comes to the performance of congressional Republicans, but whites are more likely than blacks and other minority voters to think Democrats in Congress are out of line with their base, too.

Conservatives are more likely than both moderates and liberals to believe neither party is well represented in Congress.

Only 61% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans think their respective political parties have a plan for the future.

Voters want the Republican-led Congress and President Obama to work together, and they're far more likely to blame Congress than the president for preventing that from happening.

But many think the failure of Congress to roll back Obamacare and other big government initiatives has triggered a civil war in the Republican Party.

Support for all three of the remaining Republican candidates has grown with the narrowing of the field, but Trump still holds a double-digit lead over both his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

Even as some GOP leaders try to stop Trump from winning their party’s presidential nomination, 36% of Republican voters say they are likely to vote for the billionaire businessman if he runs as a third-party presidential candidate, with 24% who are Very Likely to do so.

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

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