According to a brand-new survey by Public Policy Polling, the GOP-run House gets only an eight percent appoval rating. The poll, taken Oct. 4-6, found that 502 nationally representative voters had a higher opinion of dog poop than Congress by a seven-point margin.
The survey also showed that hipsters, an often-ridiculed and slandered group, allegedly devoted to meaningless pursuits, were also seen as preferable to Congress. Voters rated hipsters nine percentage points higher than they rated Congress.
Voters surveyed also put hemorrhoids, toenail fungus, potholes, the Deparment of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, and zombies on the list of things they liked better than Congress.
The poll did show Congress to be more popular than several other things, however. Voters preferred Congress to the Ebola virus (by 19 percent), twerking (by four percent), Anthony Weiner (27 percent), and heroin (29 percent).
An earlier poll taken by the same agency just days before (Oct. 2-4) shows that it is very specifically Republicans in Congress that have the most to worry about. They show Republican House incumbents behind in 17 of 24 swing districts nationwide.
The results are significant, Celinda Lake of Lake Research and Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling note, because House Democrats only need a switch of 17 seats next November to retake control. The GOP margin in the House is now 232-200.
Jensen conducted the polls showing Republican incumbents in trouble in the 24 swing districts among 685 registered voters in each of those districts after the government was shut down by Republicans. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
Tea party Republicans have been saying they will agree to reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling only if the Affordable Care Act is gutted or at least delayed.
Jensen's polls and Lake's focus groups show that even 49 percent of Republicans oppose linking the Affordable Care Act to re-opening of the government, as do 76 percent of independents and 86 percent of Democrats. "And 40 percent of all voters think they'll personally be affected by the shutdown," Jensen said, even though the closure is partial and only a week old.
The polls show that the tea party itself is unpopular: It gained 40 percent favorability in only three of the 24 districts.
In the individual congressional districts Jensen tested each incumbent against a generic unnamed Democrat before the lawmakers' positions on the shutdown were explained. Sixteen trailed the generic Democrat and two were tied. But 10 of the 16 trailers were withn the margin of error. After the explanations, 17 trailed, but only six were within the margin of error.