Over the weekend, an article in the Washington Post pointed out that the next Presidential election is just one year away and, get this, Americans are disappointed in the current performance of our government. Yes, I know you turn to this blog for the latest and greatest news. In fact, with record unemployment and job disapproval ratings, Obama faces the most difficult re-election challenge of any incumbent president for the last two decades. Fifty-three percent of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing overall, and 61% disapprove of the job he is doing on the economy.
In general, you'd probably imagine that the other side of the aisle feel pretty good about these numbers. However, a couple other statistics jumped out at me. First, 50% of respondents agreed with the statement that Obama is making a good faith effort to deal with the nation's problems, but the Republicans in Congress are playing politics. That compares to 37% (for the comparable questions) for the first President Bush at around the same time in his campaign for re-election. Americans blame the Republicans in Congress more than Obama for the state of the country. Almost 60% of respondents are likely to not automatically vote for their current member of Congress and, instead, look around for another option. By a slight margin, more Americans want the Democrats in control of Congress after the next election.
Perhaps most disturbing, aside from what the White House or Congress is doing, seventy-four percent of Americans think that things in our country have gotten pretty seriously off track. I'm always a little skeptical about that question because I'm not sure of these "things" of which they speak, but I do know that's not a good number (you can read current polling results here).
The main message from the polls are, of course, that voters aren't really all that happy with what's going on in the country and, sadly, I see that more and more people feel like they can't do anything about it. Here's the thing, though -- you CAN do something about it. You can find my checklist for effective advocacy here, as well as some articles on effective advocacy here. Or join my advocate chat hour at 2:00pm eastern on Wednesday November 9th. Just go to http://www.join.me/ and type “advocacyguru” (no quotes) in the join box. Then click on the bubble to chat. It’s all free. Seriously, I want to help you feel better about government, or at least know your voice can be heard.