The national election for president isn’t until November 8 of next year, but polling has already started now to make a guess about who might win then. It’s unclear which one of the GOP White House wannabees will survive the asteroid belt known as the Republican primary cycle. Jeb! Bush is ascending again as Marco Rubio nips at his heels.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who has not declared his candidacy for leader of the free world yet, remains a one state wonder. Even though fewer than one in four registered voters bothered to vote for him last year, his narrative that he won in a landslide has stuck as the pseudo story Beltway and national pundits will repeat over and over. On the Democratic side, without surprise, Hillary Rodham Clinton remains the candidate to beat within the party and in a national contest for Republicans.
GOP And ISIS
But while all the candidates jockey for pole position in advance of the first primary in Iowa early next year, one thing is crystal clear to Americans: the Republican-run congress, with Ohio Congressman John Boehner as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell as majority leader in the Senate, is almost as unpopular as ISIS, the virulent tribe of disaffected Iraqi Sunni who are chewing up the middle east in their quest to form a caliphate.
Performed by widely respected and accurate polling outfit Public Policy Polling, Congress continues to be very unpopular. Republicans in the House, with John Boehner in charge since 2011, have been a dedicated opponent of everything President Obama has fought to achieve to bring the nation back from the brink of a second Great Depression. From budget cuts that produced sequestration that put America’s future on hold to the scores of times the Boehner-led House tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the House under speaker Boehner has been largely unable to control its toxic Tea Party Wing.
PPP informs us today that much is made by the GOP of Barack Obama’s unpopularity—45 percent of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 50 percent who disapprove. “But his numbers are positively stratospheric compared to where the leaders of Congress and the body itself stand with the public,” Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling, said in a media release Monday. He added, “John Boehner has only a 22 percent approval rating with 62 percent of voters disapproving of him, and Mitch McConnell is even less popular with just a 16 percent approval rating and 61 percent of voters disapproving of him. It’s a given that Boehner and McConnell are disliked by Democrats but what’s really striking is the extent to which even voters in their party don’t like them,” PPP notes. Boehner has a 31/50 approval rating with Republican voters, and McConnell’s is 24/50.
“Congress continues to be about as unpopular as it could possibly be,” Debnam said. “But at least it can hang its hat on being a little bit more popular than Justin Bieber and ISIS.” Congress, which has had low ratings before with Republicans in charge, has sunk even lower. Congress now has a 12/77 approval rating compared to ISIS at 5/81. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell enjoys slightly higher approval ratings with 16 percent of voters approving of the job he has done, PPP notes, with John Boehner’s job approval rating is at 22 percent. PPP also notes this: “For all that’s made of Barack Obama’s unpopularity he runs laps around John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.”
Obama, ACA Fare Great Compared to GOP Congress
GOP candidates could rest assured that Americans are as opposed to the ACA as they were, but that’s also changing. With a decision by the Supreme Court on whether it will scrub subsidies through the ACA to states like Ohio with federally run healthcare exchanges expected any day, Americans are finding the ACA isn’t the terrible bill Republicans have said it is. The once unpopular Affordable Care Act now has Americans at least pretty evenly divided, PPP said, as 42 percent say they support it to 43 percent who opposed. “When we last asked the question nationally last winter, there was only 39 percent support and 48 percent of voters who were opposed,” Debnam said. The ACA is “not the big albatross it might have been for Democrats in the past either.”
As worrisome for Republicans is the shift in support for more voting. Gov. Kasich has supported efforts by other Ohio officials to limit or suppress voting. They find themselves on the opposite side of Americans [67%] who now strongly support the premise that it would be a good thing for the country if everyone voted. “There is bipartisan agreement on that point with majorities of Democrats (86/6), independents (60/21), and Republicans (52/34) all saying they believe it would be good,” Debnam noted.