Poll: Democratic, GOP Bases Disenchanted With Their Parties

WASHINGTON (McClatchy Washington Bureau/TNS) -

Congress heads home for the end-of-year break with a hearty good riddance from voters.

Even partisans have soured on their own parties. Republicans are disenchanted with Republicans in Congress, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll. Democrats are unenthusiastic about Democrats.

The most negative: the two party bases, with conservatives negative on Republicans on Capitol Hill and liberals negative on Democrats.

Those negative reactions were aggravated in recent days as the parties fought internal battles over the $1.1 trillion spending plan that finances government operations. Liberals objected to provisions easing restrictions on financial institutions, while conservatives were angry the measure did little to block President Barack Obama from carrying out actions to ease deportation of undocumented immigrants.

Party leaders prevailed, but the parties’ bases were unhappy. The poll reflects the turmoil, and the public’s disgust with it.

Voters overall disapproved 66-28 percent of the job Republicans are doing, only slightly better than the 71-24 percent in October before the GOP swept midterm elections.

Democrats and independents led the disapproval of the congressional Republicans. But Republicans themselves only narrowly approved their own party’s performance, 51-45 percent. And conservatives disapproved, 53-41 percent.

Voters overall disapprove of the Democrats as well, 65-27 percent. That was the worst for the Democrats in the 3 and a half years that Marist has posed the question.

Republicans and independents led the disapproval. But again it was internal dissent that hurt the party, with self-identified Democrats approving their party’s congressional performance just 55-33 percent, and liberals disapproving 48-45 percent.

There was a glimmer of hope for Republicans. Nearly half of the voters said they want Republicans to have more influence over the nation’s direction in the next year; 42 percent said they preferred Democrats.

Republicans next year will control both houses of Congress for the first time in eight years. The party gained nine Senate seats and will start 2015 with its biggest House of Representatives majority since the late 1940s.