Utahns Split On Congressional Performance

Perhaps reflecting Utahn’s overall displeasure with the U.S. Congress, even though both the House and Senate are now controlled by Republicans – by far the majority party here – Utahns still don’t think much of the job Congress is doing, a new UtahPolicy poll finds.

Pollster Dan Jones & Associates asked 601 adults – considering that Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate in the 2014 elections – if the totally-GOP-controlled Congress is doing more than when Democrats controlled the Senate and Republicans controlled the House, or is doing less.

Of course, you would expect the answers to break out along partisan lines – and they do.

But, still, overall Utahns are not impressed with the all-Republican Congress these days.

Jones finds that 41 percent of Utahns say Congress under Republican control is doing more since the first of the year, 37 percent say Congress is doing less, and 22 percent don’t know.

That is a large “don’t know” contingent, which reflects either ignorance of Congress’ actions, or a general “we don’t like Congress in any case” attitude.

Broken out by political party, Jones finds:

  • Republicans believe Congress is doing more, 62-16 percent with 22 percent don’t know.
  • Democrats say Congress is doing less, 82-8 percent with 10 percent don’t know.
  • Political independents believe Congress is doing less, 46-30 percent with 24 percent don’t know

That’s one-fourth of independents not having an opinion of how Congress is doing – a real disconnect.

Just one illustration of the sad state of affairs in Congress today: A number of national political pundits said GOP House and Senate leaders were privately pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld a vital part of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

That’s because if the high court had struck down subsidies to federal medical exchanges, the GOP-controlled Congress would have been expected to act in some manner.

And it would have been a political minefield for congressional Republicans to take medical insurance away from millions of Americans who were using the federal exchanges to get health care.

And for the Republicans to “fix” Obamacare and provide the subsidized health insurance – well, that would have been just as bad politically, for Republicans are supposed to hate Obamacare and not be willing to do anything to aid it.

The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision upholding the federal exchanges allowed congressional Republicans to damn Obamacare – their favorite pastime – and not have to come up with a fix so those millions of Americans could keep their subsidized health care insurance.

Jones polled 601 adults from June 2-8; the poll having a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.