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    Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened? eBook on Amazon

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Zogby: GOP, Democratic Rank and File Unsettled

from Zogby press release:Zogby International telephone survey shows Democrats nationally are accepting minority status in Congress; GOP faces weakness in its base

As political posturing for a key Congressional election season begins, neither Republicans nor Democrats across the country appear terribly happy with what they see from their leadership on Capitol Hill, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.

While 61% of Republicans said they believe the GOP-led Congress has been a success “because it has passed much legislation during the past 11 years that has reflected Republican values,” nearly one-third of Republicans think their party leaders in Washington are off-track.

The survey, conducted Feb. 15-18, shows 29% of Republicans rate the GOP leadership in Congress a “failure because it has passed legislation that has caused massive increases in federal spending and has not made meaningful progress on issues important to rank-and-file Republicans.”

Ten percent said they agree with neither sentiment, or were unsure.

The survey also contained troubling news for Democrats. While high-profile Democrats in Washington, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, spar with GOP adversaries, 58% of self-described Democrats said they think their leaders should “accept their lower position in Congress and work together with Republicans to craft the best legislation possible.”

Only 6% said the top goal for Democrats should be to defeat Republican legislation.

In another sign that Democrats, after spending 11 years in the minority in the U.S. House and most of those years holding minority status in the Senate, are now accepting their lower position, nearly one-quarter of Democrats – 23% – said they think Republicans do a better job running Congress.

Twenty percent of Democratic respondents to the latest Zogby Poll said their party leaders in Washington should work to highlight their policy differences with the majority Republicans, while 10% said they should concentrate on bringing federal money home to their own districts.

Despite the criticisms of the Republican Congress and its effectiveness by the GOP rank and file, Democratic voters are even less enthusiastic about their own party’s success representing their interests on Capitol Hill. Just over half of those Democrats surveyed (55%) said they think Democrats in Congress have been effective “in representing Democratic values and Democrats nationwide,” but 43% said their party representatives in Washington have been unsuccessful in that mission.

Nearly nine months before voters go to the polls, 59% of respondents said they believe it is not likely their member of Congress will be defeated in their re-election efforts this year, while 12% said they are unsure. In what could be a bad sign for Republicans, likely voters in the South – a GOP stronghold – appear most unsure their incumbent will win, as just over half – 53% – said their congressional representative will likely win re-election. While 32% said it is either somewhat or very likely their incumbent will be defeated this fall, 15% said they were unsure.

National election statistics show 96% of incumbents in the U.S. House, and 88% of U.S. Senate candidates won re-election to their seats in 2004.

The Zogby America poll included 1,039 interviews and carries a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

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