Saturday, January 07, 2006
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer - 1 hour, 57 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Dissatisfied with the nation's direction, Americans are leaning toward wanting a change in which political party leads Congress -- preferring that Democrats take control, an AP-Ipsos poll found. Democrats are favored over Republicans 49 percent to 36 percent.
An aerial view of the Capitol Building is seen at left. A year-long debate in Congress over legislation to cut spending took a new twist on Wednesday after Senate Democrats succeeded in forcing the House to take another vote on the controversial $39.7 billion bill. REUTERS/Larry Downing.
The AP-Ipsos polling came as disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to tax evasion, fraud and corruption charges and agreed to aid a federal investigation of members of Congress and other government officials.
's job approval remains low -- 40 percent in the AP-Ipsos poll, with only one-third saying the country is headed in the right direction. Bush also remains low on his handling of , where violence against Iraqis and U.S. troops has been surging.
"I just don't like the direction our country is going in," said Steve Brown, a political independent from Olympia, Wash. "I think a balance of power would be beneficial right now."
Republicans are watching the situation unfold with some nervousness. "I don't think anyone is hitting the panic button," said Rich Bond, a former chairman. "But there is an acute recognition of the grim environment that both parties are operating in."
"If the Democrats had any leadership or any message, they could be poised for a good year," Bond said. "But in the absence of that, they have not been able to capitalize on Republican woes. Because of the size of the GOP majority, Democrats have to run the board, and I don't see that happening."
Carl Forti, a spokesman for the GOP's congressional campaign committee, said about 30 House seats are competitive this year, compared with more than 100 a dozen years ago. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (news, bio, voting record) of Illinois, who heads the Democrats' campaign efforts, put the competitive number in 2006 at 42, and he suggested ongoing scandals improve Democratic recruitment of candidates by "making the environment more conducive. It helps move them along in the process."
Dave Haigler, Abilene, Texas
lawfirm webpage: www.haigler.info
political blog: http://demlog.blogspot.com
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