63% Oppose Lame Duck Legislation From Congress
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Voters remain strongly convinced that congressional Democrats will try to pass legislation in the closing weeks of the year if Republicans win control of the Congress in November, and they strongly oppose any such lame-duck legislation.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that 85% believe it is at least somewhat likely that if the GOP wins control of Congress in November, Democrats will try to pass major new legislation before the newly elected Republicans take office. This includes 65% who say it is Very Likely.
Just nine percent (9%) say it's Not Very or Not At All Likely to occur.
Sixty-three percent (63%) say Congress should not consider major new legislation during the two-month lame duck period after the election but should wait for the newly-elected members to take office. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree and say Congress should consider major new legislation during that period.
The findings for both these questions remain basically unchanged from July.
As is often the case, there's strong disagreement between the Political Class and Mainstream voters. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of those in the Political Class say Congress should consider major new legislation in the two-month period after Election Day. Seventy-five percent (75%) of Mainstream voters think Congress should wait until the new members take office.
These findings are perhaps not surprising given voter opposition to the health care bill passed by Congress in March and to the bailouts of the auto and financial industries. Voters have mixed feelings about last year's $787-billion economic stimulus plan and remain opposed to a second stimulus package.
While most voters oppose lame-duck legislation, their feelings are more mixed when it comes to major action between now and Election Day. But they're much less concerned that such legislation is likely.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters U.S. Voters was conducted on September 6-7, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Forty-four percent (44%) say Congress is at least somewhat likely to pass major legislation between now and Election Day in November, but 47% think that's unlikely. These findings include 16% who say it's Very Likely and 15% who say it's Not At All Likely.
However, only 36% believe Congress should try to pass major legislation before Election Day. Forty-one percent (41%) disagree and say it should not attempt to pass legislation in the next two months. Nearly one-out-of-four voters (23%) are not sure.
Again, most Political Class voters (68%) think Congress should try to pass legislation between now and Election Day. Fifty-two percent (52%) of Mainstream voters don't share that view.
Most Democrats, whose party now controls both the House and Senate, favor trying to pass major legislation before the November election. The majority of Republicans and a plurality (47%) of voters not affiliated with either party are opposed to that idea.
Interestingly, while Republicans and unaffiliateds strongly believe that after the election Congress should not consider any new legislation until the new members take office, Democrats are evenly divided on the question.
Most voters continue to believe it would be better for the country if the majority of Congress is thrown out this November.
A majority of voters believe it is at least somewhat likely that Republicans will win control of both houses of Congress in this November's elections, and nearly half say there will a noticeable change in the lives of Americans if this happens.
Republican candidates hold a 12-point lead over their Democratic rivals in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.
Most voters believe that Democrats in Congress want to raise taxes and spending, while congressional Republicans want to cut taxes and spending. At the same time, most also think reducing taxes and spending would be good for the economy.
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters think the agenda of Democrats in Congress is extreme, while a plurality describe the Republican agenda as mainstream.
Regardless of party, however, just 27% of voters think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job, and only 37% think their local congressional representative deserves reelection.
Voters continue to strongly believe that Congress should get voter approval before it raises taxes or makes any changes in Social Security.
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