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Fox News Poll: 81 percent disapprove of Congress, 49 percent disapprove of Obama

After watching lawmakers fail to agree on funding the federal government, a new Fox News national poll finds that fully 81 percent of voters disapprove of the job Congress is doing.  That’s slightly better than the record high of 83 percent disapproval recorded in 2011.  Just 13 percent approve of Congress today.

Large numbers of Tea Partiers (71 percent), Republicans (77 percent), Democrats (82 percent) and independents (88 percent) give lawmakers a thumbs-down. 

President Obama’s job ratings are down-right glowing by comparison -- yet they are still underwater.  Some 45 percent of voters approve of his job performance.  That’s up from 40 percent approval in early September, around the time he was considering military action against Syria.  Forty-nine percent disapprove of Obama, down from 54 percent disapproval last month.

The improvement in the president’s ratings comes almost exclusively from Democrats.  Approval hit a record-low 69 percent among Democrats last month during the situation with Syria.  The new poll finds 84 percent of Democrats approve -- an increase of 15 percentage points. 

Among independents, 32 percent approve of Obama, up from 29 percent in September. 

More voters disapprove than approve of the president’s job performance on each of the issues tested in the poll. 

He receives his best ratings on health care:  45 percent approve and 51 percent disapprove.  That’s an improvement from last month when 38 percent approved and 58 percent disapproved (September 2013). 

On the other hand, Obama’s lowest marks are for his handling of the federal deficit (35-59 percent) and Syria (38-51 percent).  On the economy, 40 percent approve and 56 percent disapprove.

Meanwhile, 52 percent of voters think Obama still has the power to get things done.  Another 42 percent see him as a lame-duck president, down from 49 percent who felt that way in May. 

Seventy-nine percent of Democrats think Obama is still an effective president.  That’s up from 71 percent in May. 

President Obama recently commented that he only has about 1200 days left in office.  That feels like too long a time for 50 percent of voters, while 35 percent say it is too short a time.  Another 11 percent volunteer the Goldilocks response -- “just right.” 

Favorable Ratings

By a five-point margin, more voters have an unfavorable than a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party.  Forty-four percent have a positive view of the party, while 49 percent have a negative opinion.  That’s almost identical to views earlier this year.

Opinion of the Republican Party is more negative: by a 24-point margin more voters view the GOP unfavorably.  Some 35 percent have a favorable opinion and 59 percent unfavorable.  That’s a decline from perceptions registered earlier this year.  In April, the GOP’s rating was 35 percent favorable-56 percent unfavorable.  And in January it was 38-54. 

Views of the Tea Party movement currently stand at 33 percent favorable and 49 percent unfavorable. 

Among independents, 26 percent have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party, while 25 percent have a positive view of the Democratic Party and 20 percent the Republican Party.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 952 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 1-2, 2013.  The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.