When American voters look at Washington these days, they see dysfunctional government, not merely divided government.
A Fox News national poll released Friday asked voters if the scene in the nation’s capital is better described as “divided government working the way the political system was set up to work” or “dysfunctional government working the way it is because of the elected officials currently in office.” By a wide 71 percent-to-21 percent margin, voters say “dysfunctional.”
Eight in 10 Tea Party voters call it dysfunctional, as do 79 percent of independents, 77 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats.
Democrats (28 percent) are almost twice as likely to see a divided government working as intended as independents (15 percent) and Republicans (16 percent).
Just 12 percent of voters approve of the job Congress is doing and 83 percent disapprove. That’s little changed from last month, when 12 percent approved and 80 percent disapproved.
Ninety-one percent of independents disapprove of Congress, as do 86 percent of Tea Partiers and 82 percent of both Democrats and Republicans.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 911 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from December 5 to December 7. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.