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POLITICS: PennAve

Public approval of Congress plummets to 5 percent as shutdown drags on

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Congress,Polls,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Government Shutdown

With the government shutdown dragging on and the debt limit looming, there is not much love for Congress among Americans.

Approval for Congress has plummeted to just 5 percent, according to a poll released Wednesday by the Associated Press. And Americans' disgust with Congress and its leaders is bipartisan: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, each earned a favorability rating of 18 percent.

Throughout the fiscal standoff, lawmakers of each party have attempted to position themselves to gain political capital from the fight -- but the AP poll shows 62 percent of Americans leveling blame on Republicans for the ongoing government shutdown that has so far lasted for more than a week.

In general, Americans now rank government dysfunction chief among the problems currently facing the country, a new Gallup poll has found.

This new polls show that public sentiment is right where lawmakers feared it would go if the fight over government spending and the debt ceiling dragged on, but it's still unclear which party, if any, will suffer tangible political damage in the upcoming mid-term elections.

House Republicans, many of whom are tucked away in safe Republican districts, have reported hearing mostly positive feedback from their constituents in response to how they have handled the standoff over government funding. Lawmakers from swing districts, though, are far more worried about a possible voter backlash.

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