As the U.S. heads toward a potential government shutdown or default, the public is more alienated from Washington than at any time since the aftermath of the 2011 downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.
President Barack Obama’s 47 percent favorability rating and the 34 percent positive reading for Republicans are the worst ever for both in the Bloomberg National Poll, which began in 2009. The 44 percent approval rating of the Democratic Party is at a two-year low.
Obama’s 45 percent job-approval rating is the lowest since September 2011, a month after a partisan showdown over lifting the debt ceiling brought the U.S. to the brink of default.
Americans also are pessimistic about the course of the country, with 68 percent saying it’s headed in the wrong direction, the most in two years, according to the poll of 1,000 adults conducted Sept. 20-23.
“People are so divided and unwilling to compromise,” said poll respondent David Carpenter, a 40-year-old general contractor and political independent in Atlanta. “There’s no unity from the administration. He sticks to his ideals and points fingers. I don’t think that’s the right way to lead.”
Americans’ negative feelings about Washington contrast with more optimistic views about their own prospects. Thirty-five percent of respondents expect their financial security to improve during the next year, up from 25 percent in December 2012.
More details from the survey here.