Shutdown Inspires Historic Pessimism

Brian Resnick

The Republican Party is as unpopular as it has ever been. Approval of Congress is as low as it has ever been. Seventy eight percent of Americans think the country has gotten off track.

The latest polling from NBC and the Wall Street Journalunderscores a great discontent sweeping the nation as the result of the government shutdown and the surrounding debate. Like other polling outlets, the NBC/WSJ poll finds the public puts most of the blame on the  Republicans (53 percent of responders indicated such). Just under a quarter of respondents, 24 percent, said they had a favorable opinion of the Republicans. That basically matches polling Gallup released the other day finding 28 percent finding favor in the GOP. The Tea Party, likewise, is also viewed negatively, according to NBC/WSJ--just 21 percent view them favorably. 

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But overall, Americans are feeling pessimistic. The 78 percent of Americans who think the country is on the wrong track ties NBC/WSJ's record. That's 16 points lower than last month, and about the same level as during the 2008 financial crisis.

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And here are some other revelations from the poll that was conducted October 7-9, including 800 adults, and with a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

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  • The president's approval ratings have remained steady at 47 percent.
  • Just 14 percent view Ted Cruz favorably.
  • 17 percent think the economy will pick up over the next year.

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