A new Fox News poll finds 58 percent of American voters think the federal government is "broken," while 30 percent feel it’s working "just okay" and 9 percent say it’s working "pretty well." Voters are equally frustrated with Democrats in Congress as they are with Republicans in Congress.
The poll also finds nearly one voter in six considers themselves part of the Tea Party movement; and a generic Tea Party candidate takes more votes away from the Republican candidate than the Democrat in midterm election matchups.
Most Republicans -- 75 percent -- feel the government is broken. So do over two-thirds of independents (69 percent).
Among Democrats, 37 percent feel it is broken, while the largest number -- 43 percent -- says it's working "just okay." Despite controlling both houses of Congress and the White House, a 17 percent minority says they feel the government is working "pretty well."
Nearly half of voters -- 47 percent -- are "extremely" or "very" frustrated and upset with Democrats in Congress, while almost as many -- 43 percent -- feel that way about Republicans in Congress.
Likewise, voters are three times as likely to say they disapprove of the job Congress is doing: 22 percent approve and 68 percent disapprove.
With discontent evenly distributed, the midterm elections figure to be tight. If the Congressional election were held today, 42 percent would vote for the Republican candidate in their district and 38 percent the Democratic candidate. One in five voters would back another candidate or is undecided.
If the race included a Tea Party candidate, that candidate would take more votes away from the Republican than the Democrat. In the three-way race, 36 percent of voters would back the Democrat, 24 percent the Republican and 13 percent the Tea Party.
Looking at it another way, 91 percent of Republicans back their party’s candidate in the head-to-head matchup. But in the three-way race, the number backing the Republican candidate drops to 54 percent and 20 percent would back the Tea Party candidate, and the number of those who are undecided increases significantly (from 5 percent to 22 percent).
In the two-way matchup, independent voters back the Republican 29-20 percent, with many undecided (42 percent). Independents split fairly evenly among the candidates in a three-way race (14 percent for both the Democrat and Republican, with 17 percent for the Tea Party).
Interest in this year’s elections remains strong among Republicans -- and is even stronger among the Tea Party. Twice as many Republicans (42 percent) as Democrats are extremely interested (20 percent). Among those who consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, 58 percent are extremely interested. For independents, 31 percent are.
The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from April 20 to April 21. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
When voters are asked which political party best represents the principles of the country’s founding fathers, 31 percent say the Democratic Party, 24 percent the Republican Party and 22 percent the Tea Party. Another 11 percent say "none" of the parties do.
Tea Party Considered A Serious Group
About one in six American voters (17 percent) thinks of themselves as part of the Tea Party movement. These voters are much more likely to say the federal government is broken (87 percent), disapprove of the job President Obama is doing (88 percent) and believe the country is in a recession (67 percent).
Overall, by a more than two-to-one margin more people think the Tea Party is a group that should be taken seriously (56 percent) rather than considered a fringe group (27 percent).
Even so, is the Tea Party here to stay? Views are split evenly on whether it will be around 10 years from now: 40 percent say it will, while 43 percent say it won’t.