Good news, bad news in Post/ABC poll

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS IN POST/ABC POLL…. The Washington Post‘s analysis of its new national poll points to widespread public discontent, which is generating a broad anti-incumbent mood. Given that Democrats are the governing party, it’s the kind of result Republicans will find heartening.

Members of Congress face the most anti-incumbent electorate since 1994, with less than a third of all voters saying they are inclined to support their representatives in November, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Dissatisfaction is widespread, crossing party lines, ideologies and virtually all groups of voters. Less than a quarter of independents and just three in 10 Republicans say they’re leaning toward backing an incumbent this fall. Even among Democrats, who control the House, the Senate and the White House, opinion is evenly divided on the question.

That’s the good news for the GOP. The good news for Dems is that, looking through the internals, there are plenty of encouraging results for the majority, too.

For example, President Obama’s approval rating is up slightly to 54%, the highest it’s been in nearly six months. His approval rating on the economy is also the highest it’s been since November, and Obama’s support on handling health care is now the highest it’s been in nine months.

The poll also asked, “Overall, which party, the Democrats or the Republicans, do you trust to do a better job in coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years?” On this question, Dems led by 14 points. In February, Dems led on the same question by just seven points.

What’s more, the electorate continues to trust the president far more than congressional Republicans on every area of public policy, including an 11-point edge on the economy, and a 10-point edge on health care.

The generic ballot question remains close, but the Dems currently enjoy a five-point lead over Republicans, up slightly from March, and far better than the three-point lead Republicans had in February.

The anti-incumbency attitudes will no doubt help motivate Republicans with six months until the midterms, but it’s hard to interpret these results as a shift away from Dems.