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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Welcome, Mr. Brown, to an Unpopular Club

Scott Brown asked and at 5 p.m. is set to receive his official welcome into what has to be the most unpopular club in Washington.

Brown, a Republican, is expected to be sworn today as the junior senator from Massachusetts -- having yesterday stepped up the timetable to claim his prize for his come-from-behind upset victory over Democrat Martha Coakley in the state's Jan. 19 special election. Winning 52% of the vote in the third most Democratic state in the union was impressive. It's going to be a lot harder from here on out.

In December, 25% of Americans said they approved of the way Congress was handling its job. Obama may have his troubles, but his ratings are still roughly double that.

We have a survey coming out of the field today, conducted Feb. 1-3, which will show us if Congress won or lost any points in the last month. In particular, it will update us on the mood since Brown won in a vote that 72% of Americans said reflected frustrations shared by many Americans and subsequently put the brakes on the healthcare reform legislation.

With Brown as the game-changing 41st Republican in the U.S. Senate, Republicans gain some bargaining power while Democrats lose some. Only 15% of Republicans approved of Congress before; we'll see if they start to see more things they like.

In our new survey, we'll also get an updated read on our generic ballot for Congress in 2010, which in December found a 48% to 45% edge for Democrats over Republicans. We'll have the results of both of these measures for you in the coming days on

Next week, we'll also add an Election 2010 Key Indicators feature to our politics page, where we'll keep the latest results of these and several other important metrics for Congress easily accessible from now until the November midterm elections.

The climb back into Americans' good graces is a long one for Brown and the other 99 senators in Washington, who collectively face a sea of challenges.

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Anonymous said...
February 4, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

I think Scott Brown will single-handedly pull-up the approval of the congress.

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