On Tuesday, PPP published a boatload of data on things that are more popular than Congress—and, remarkably, a few things that are somehow less popular. Okay, well, one of those included gonorrhea, which is really unfair, because there's no cure for Congress. So clearly, antibiotic-treatable veneral disease shouldn't rank so low, but in any event, my colleague Jed Lewison toted it all up:
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PPP has some additional numbers, though, which show that not all parties are created alike. Now, it's not like Democrats are exactly beloved, but the GOP? Well, Tom Jensen didn't poll herpes, but I'm guessing that, in a just world, it might be tied with congressional Republicans:
Congress emerged from the fiscal cliff debate with a 7% approval rating, with 81% of voters disapproving of it. But the two parties aren't going in for equal blame. While the Democrats in Congress aren't popular (-12 at 38/50) their approval rating is a net 48 points better than their Republican counterparts (-60 at 15/75). The Republicans in Congress have only a 25/61 approval rating even with the GOP base, suggesting the potential for 2014 to bring a lot of primary challenges.
If you, like me, think "Republicans hated far more than Democrats" is a positive headline, then there's plenty of other good news in this poll as well. For instance, Nancy Pelosi is "only" at a 34/55 approval rating, while John Boehner is like the little boy stuck at the bottom of the well with a 21/60 score. (Only no one plans on rescuing little Timmy.) Harry Reid, likewise, is more popular than Mitch McConnell (okay, less un
popular), while the Democratic-controlled Senate fares better than the GOP-held House.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama's approvals have ticked up to 51/46 (from 50/47 a month ago), while Mitt Romney (who?) has impressively managed to make himself look worse since the election, with a 41/50 favorability rating—down from 47/40 in November. Some nights I go to bed trying to dream up fantasy scenarios where the GOP nominates this guy again. (I'm still working on it.)
But okay, do you want some legitimately good news? Not "lesser of two evils," schadenfreude-tastic-type news? Democrats have a hefty six-point lead on the generic congressional ballot, 47-41. In PPP's final pre-election poll (conducted for Daily Kos and SEIU), Democrats held just a one-point edge. Given how badly gerrymandered the House is, as well as the fact that Democratic-leaning voters tend to be densely concentrated in urban areas, a narrow edge on the generic ballot isn't enough to put the House back in Team Blue's hands. (In fact, we saw just that in November, as Democrats won the nationwide House vote.)
But six points? If somehow we could maintain that edge two years from now, we'd have a very real chance of recapturing the House. So look out, herpes! After we're done with the Republicans, we'll be coming for you next.