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49% Think Neither Party in Congress Represents the People

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Voters are more convinced than ever that neither major political party in Washington, DC is on their side.

Now roughly one-out-of-two Likely U.S. Voters (49%) think it’s fair to say neither party in Congress is the party of the American people, up six points from a year ago. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 32% say it’s not fair to characterize the two parties that way, while 18% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here). 

A plurality (44%) of both Republicans and Democrats agree that neither party in Congress represents the people. But voters not affiliated with either of the parties are even more emphatic: 60% feel that way.

Perhaps these views are fed in part by the doubts voters have about what the two parties have in mind for the future. Voters are narrowly divided over whether the Democratic Party has a plan for where it wants to take the nation: 42% say it does, but 38% disagree. Twenty percent (20%) aren’t sure.

Republicans don’t rate much more confidence. Forty-five percent (45%) of voters say the GOP has a plan for where it wants to take the nation, but 37% don’t believe that’s true. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided.

This marks little change from findings about both parties in February but is a clear shift from February 2010 when 44% said Democrats in Congress had a plan for the future but only 35% felt that way about Republicans.

Predictably, most Democrats and most Republicans think their parties do have a plan for the future. Unaffiliated voters are almost evenly divided when it comes to both of the major parties.

Ratings for the current Congress remain at their worst, with just six percent (6%) of voters who rate its performance as good or excellent. Sixty-six percent (66%) say Congress is doing a poor job, the highest negative rating since March 2010.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 16-17, 2011 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.


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