The debtpocaplypse has completely enveloped Washington, and the effects are now seeping out of town, bringing down the national approval ratings of political leaders. Even President Obama, who had retained fairly strong numbers in spite of legislative clashes and a difficult economy, is starting to reach new lows. Obama has hit 40% approval in the Gallup tracking poll, for the first time in his presidency.
Other polling has shown the public's frustrations, with a few recent surveys showing that the number of Americans who think the country is on the wrong track has been increasing as Washington debates a debt ceiling solution. The TPM Poll Average of the question shows only 22.5% think we are on the right track, with 69.5% who feel we are on the wrong one, very similar to the results seen at the end of 2008.
Another Gallup poll showed that the President is actually faring better than others involved in the debt debate: compared with Obama's 41% approval on handling the negotiations, House Speaker John Boehner registered a 31% approval on the debt talks and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid only got 23%. But it's clear that has the partisan back and forth continues, the messy lawmaking process provides a general drag on the leaders in Washington.