The Republican Party should not expect the November 2012 election to be a cakewalk, if the latest poll data is any indicator: President Obama's approval rating is hovering at/near 40 percent, but only 19 percent of the American people approve of the way Congressional Republicans are handing their job, according to the latest New York Times/CBS Poll.
Voters gave Congressional Democrats a 28 percent approval rating.
What's more, Republican voters are more dissatisfied with Congressional Republicans than Democratic voters are with Congressional Democrats. One-half of Republican voters say they disapprove of Republicans in Congress, while 43 percent of Democratic voters say they disapprove of Democrats in Congress.
Here's another telltale stat: only 6 percent of registered voters say that most members of Congress have earned re-election, while a gargantuan 84 percent say it's time to give someone new a chance.
And another: in follow-up interviews, voters listed partisan bickering as the major reason for respondents' disapproval of Congress.
Voters Still View Their Congressman/woman in a Kinder Light
However, in a stance that essentially duplicates decades of voting behavior survey research in political science -- and one that shows how American voters apply a double standard to Congress -- voters gave a slightly better grade to their own representative in Congress: 33 percent said he/she deserves to be re-elected.
The New York Times/CBS News Poll was conducted Sept. 10-15 and surveyed 1,452 adults, of whom 1,356 are registered to vote, and a has margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Political/Public Policy Analysis: The poll should serve as a warning to the Republican Party. If the GOP is convinced it's headed toward a landslide win in November 2012, it will likely be in for rude awakening -- the latest polls suggest the GOP would likely struggle to gain 10 seats in the House, and probably lose a seat in the Senate.
Further, as the poll indicated, voters are tired of the partisan bickering. They want the parties to find common ground, and on issues where there is a huge difference in policy positions, compromise, for the good of the nation.
What's more, the American people returned the Republican Party to power in the U.S. House to create jobs, and to date, the party's record has been abysmal. The GOP's overall stance has been to say no, hell no, ignore, or to distort issues, and the public does not view it as acceptable.
In other words, there's little in the Republican Party's current philosophy that suggests they can govern a complex society and nation. Moreover, the current GOP is even more conservative than the GOP of the failed conservative presidency of George W. Bush -- hence it's unlikely that voters outside the Republican Party's base will vote for a repeat of the Bush era.
The bottom on the latest poll date: at this stage of the election 2012 cycle -- and it's still very early -- voters appear to be biding their time, waiting to see which party can deliver on U.S. job creation: whichever party delivers will likely attract the most Congressional votes.