New Poll: Voters Bent Over Broken Bureaucracy genre: Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Bent And Broken

A new George Washington University Battleground Poll ought to be a warning to both political parties that they need to clean up their acts and get about the work they were elected to achieve. Judging from the bleak numbers, voters feel that the message they delivered in 2006 has fell upon deaf ears. While the Democrats fared somewhat better than the Republicans, neither party should take comfort in their prospects as we approach the 2008 election.

The George Washington University Battleground Poll found widespread disillusionment among voters, with 71 percent of those surveyed saying their member of Congress put partisan politics ahead of voters' actual concerns.

Lawmakers as a whole fared even worse: 93 percent of voters' surveyed said members of Congress put partisan politics first.

"The election of 2006 was in the point of view of many Americans a failure in that it has not changed the direction of politics," said Christopher Arterton, a university dean and political expert at George Washington.

A record 70 percent said the country was on the wrong track.

Top criticisms included the inability of Democrats to pass meaningful legislation and change the course of the war in Iraq.

"The country wants change and they're not seeing change from either party," Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told the news conference. "Thank God Democrats get to vote against somebody."

Lake's remark may console some Democrats but the reality is that the American political atmosphere has become little more than a series of partisan skirmishes...skirmishes that are played out in virtually scripted performances on center stage by actors who do little more than mouth their lines and collect their inflated paychecks.

No doubt the poll numbers suggest that voters feel their growing cynicism is valid and it goes without saying that politicians have done little since the 2006 election to warrant any measurable vindication.

Given the impression by many voters that the two parties are distinguishable by name only, is it any wonder as to why voter turnout is so dismal in the United States? Time and again the pundits contend that a third party could never succeed...but I suspect the margin by which that may be true has shrunk significantly in the last few years.

American voters are amazingly patient...but one would likely be foolish to argue that we aren't approaching the juncture at which something will have to give. Drawing from the terminology of our uniquely American sport of football, let's hope we're able to bend before we break.

Tagged as: Congress, Democrat, George Washington Battleground Poll, Republican, Voter Opinion

Daniel DiRito | July 26, 2007 | 4:39 PM
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