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Fox News poll: Voters want government to leave them alone as midterm elections near

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Jan. 28, 2014: The Capitol building is seen before President Obama delivers his State of the Union address in front of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Reuters)

With less than three months until Election Day, the Democratic Party is better liked than the Republican Party, but voters are equally frustrated with both. 

A new Fox News national poll finds the same percentage is extremely or very “frustrated and upset” with congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats -- 44 percent each. 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE POLL RESULTS

That’s more than say they feel that way toward President Obama (40 percent frustrated and upset), incumbents in general (38 percent) or members of the Tea Party in Congress (35 percent). 

The most frustration is saved for the news media: 48 percent are extremely or very frustrated and upset with the press (but 49 percent aren’t). 

And despite some recent controversial decisions, most people aren’t aggravated with the U.S. Supreme Court: 27 percent are frustrated, while 65 percent aren’t. 

It’s August. Obviously it isn’t Election Day. If it were, the poll finds that 46 percent of voters would back the Democratic candidate in their House district and 39 percent the Republican. 

This is the first time this year that either party has kept the advantage in the generic ballot test for two consecutive polls. Last month, Democrats had a two-point edge (43-41 percent).  And before that it had bounced back and forth between the parties. 

In the months prior to the 2010 election when Republicans picked up 63 House seats, the generic ballot test consistently favored the GOP.

The new poll finds more Republicans (69 percent) are interested in the upcoming elections than Democrats (57 percent). When the results are narrowed to just those voters who are interested, Republicans hold a one-point edge in the generic ballot (45-44 percent).

“Republicans are maintaining an enthusiasm advantage, but the midterm landscape isn’t nearly as bleak for Democrats as it was at this point in 2010,” says Democratic Pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News poll with Republican pollster Daron Shaw. “And Democrats still have nearly three months to rally the troops.”

The Democratic Party’s favorability stands at 47 percent, while 42 percent of voters have a positive view of the Republican Party. 

A record-low 29 percent of voters have a positive opinion of the Tea Party movement, down from 35 percent favorable in April. A 51-percent majority feels negatively toward the Tea Party. 

Republicans are the hardest on their own party: 16 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable opinion of the GOP, while nine percent of Democrats hold a negative view of their party. Eight percent of those who are part of the Tea Party movement say they don’t like the movement.

Pollpourri

The poll asks voters which message they would like to send to the federal government. Nearly six in 10 would say “leave me alone.” About a third would ask Uncle Sam to “lend me a hand.”

The 59 percent saying “leave me alone” is up from 53 percent in 2012 and 50 percent in 2011. Likewise, the 32 percent saying “lend me a hand” is down from a high of 44 percent three years ago (October 2011). 

A 55-percent majority of Democrats would tell the government to “lend me a hand.” Majorities of Republicans (80 percent) and independents (69 percent) would say “leave me alone.”

Finally, voters may be losing faith in the voting booth. When asked, “Who has the most power in our country?” some 42 percent say Congress, 24 percent say the president and just 21 percent say the American people. 

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,001 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from August 10-12, 2014. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. 

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