Nearly three months after the Republican Party took control of the White House and Congress, the public gives low job ratings to the president and even lower ratings to the speaker of the House.
The new Congress is viewed about as unfavorably as the previous Congress. And while both parties are viewed less positively than in January, the GOP’s ratings are more negative than the Democratic Party’s.
On issues, the Republicans hold their traditional advantage on terrorism, and the two parties continue to run about even on handling the economy – which, along with terrorism, tops the public’s agenda.
But the Democratic Party has made sharp gains compared with a year ago on several issues – notably, foreign policy and immigration. Currently, 49% of Americans say the Democratic Party is better able to make wise decisions about foreign policy, while 36% favor the GOP. A year ago, Republicans were favored on foreign policy, 46% to 38%. Democrats also lead on dealing with immigration, 50% to 39%; in recent years, the parties have run about even on this issue.
And, with budget debates looming this month in Congress, 48% say the Democratic Party better represents their views on government spending, while 40% say the Republican Party does.
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