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Fox News Poll: Record Low 10 Percent Approve of Congress

After prolonged and painstaking negotiations on raising the nation’s debt limit, Congress receives its lowest job approval rating ever in a Fox News poll.

Only 10 percent of American voters approve of the lawmakers’ performance, according to Fox’s most recent poll, which was released Wednesday. That’s down from an already unimpressive 20 percent approval rating in June.

The previous record low was 13 percent in October 2008, around the time Congress passed TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) in response to the subprime mortgage crisis.

In the new poll 81 percent of voters disapprove of the job Congress is doing -- also a record.

Disapproval is high across the board, as Democrats (78 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (86 percent) alike give Congress bad marks. Fully 92 percent of those who say they’re part of the Tea Party movement also disapprove of Congress.

The poll found 15 percent of voters nationally consider themselves to be part of the Tea Party movement, which is around the average participation level since early 2010.

Positive feelings about the Tea Party are down since Tea Party-backed lawmakers took a hard line against spending and taxes during the debt limit negotiations. Currently 31 percent of voters have a favorable view of it, down from 36 percent in April. And about half of voters -- 51 percent -- have an unfavorable opinion, up from 47 percent.

Voters also have negative opinions of the two major parties: 50 percent view the Democratic Party unfavorably and 54 percent hold negative views of the Republican Party.

Forty-one percent of voters have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, down from 49 percent in April. The Republican Party has a 35 percent favorable rating, down from 41 percent in April.

Seventy-three percent of Republicans have a favorable view of their party, while 79 percent of Democrats have a positive opinion of theirs. Voters who associate with the Tea Party movement rate it the highest at 85 percent favorable.

Opinion of President Obama has also declined, both with respect to his job performance and how voters feel about him as a person.

Some 42 percent of voters approve of Obama’s job performance and 48 percent disapprove. Last month, before the agreement on the nation’s debt limit was finalized, 45 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved (July, 17-19 2011).

The drag on the president’s rating is not only lower approval among Democrats, which currently stands at 77 percent, but also a record low 31 percent approval among independents. Approval among Republicans is 6 percent -- matching a previous record-low in October 2010.

Currently 48 percent of voters have a favorable view of Obama, down from 53 percent in April and a high of 76 percent the week before his inauguration.

About as many -- 47 percent -- say they have a negative opinion of Obama. His highest unfavorable rating was 48 percent in late October 2010, just before the midterm elections.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 904 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from August 7 to August 9. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Click here for the full Fox News poll results.