Poll: Americans agree on one thing — no one likes Congress

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    President Obama puts his hand to his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance at the 102nd Abraham Lincoln Association banquet in Springfield, Ill., in 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    The calendar says it’s still fall, but it feels like the winter of our discontent in the minds of most Americans. President Obama is holding low but steady in his approval ratings, in the low 40s, while Congress has dropped to an all-time low of 9 percent.

    The calendar says it’s still fall, but it feels like the winter of our discontent in the minds of most Americans. We check on the forecast with Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll.

    President Obama is holding low but steady in Americans’ approval of his handling of the economy and healthcare, with a rating in the low 40s. Meanwhile, Americans across the political spectrum agree how bad a job Congress is doing. Congressional approval has slipped to an all-time low this week of 9 percent — certainly the lowest in Gallup’s 39 year history of measuring it.

    In the midst of all of this news, what’s the most important problem facing the country this month, according to Americans? For the second month in a row, it is not the economy or jobs. It’s not even health care. It’s government dysfunction. 

    After holding its own in recent weeks, support for the Affordable Care Act has fallen among the American public — not surprising given the hits the law has taken in the media. We asked Americans why they approve and why they disapprove. It has more to do with philosophical differences than with glitches in teh rollout, thought those missteps certainly are playing a part in Americans’ attitudes.

    The 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination is one week from today. We have been asking Americans since 1963 whether one man did it alone, or whether there was a conspiracy. At this time, 30 percent think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, while 61 percent believe it took a village. Who do the conspiracy theorists believe played a part? The Mafia, the U.S. government, Fidel Castro, the CIA and LBJ all get high votes.

    JFK still stacks up well against the 10 other presidents since Eisenhower in Americans’ minds. Seventy-four percent put him at the top of teh heap, with Ronald Reagan a step behind and Bill Clinton coming next. All others are running far behind.

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