As the debt crisis has continued, many political commentators have sought to compare and contrast the current congressional debate to the one that occurred under President Bill Clinton’s administration. Well, besides a government shut down, there’s another very different storyline this time around.

According to the first polling taken since Standard and Poor’s downgrading of the US’s debt rating, more Americans have an unfavorable view of the Republican party than they did in 1998 during the Clinton impeachment vote.

The Hill reports:

Fifty-nine percent of voters polled said they had an unfavorable opinion of the Republican Party, with 33 percent calling their opinion favorable. The Tea Party did not poll well, either, with 51 percent saying they have an unfavorable opinion of the movement.

The last time CNN polled the GOP out of favor with more than 50 percent was in 1998. The House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton on Dec. 19, 1998, and a survey taken between Dec. 19-20 that year found 57 percent unfavorable toward the Republican party. In January, that number fell to 52 percent, and has not been that high again until this month.


While the recent polling would seem a glimmer of good news for Democrats, the truth is that even their top congressional leaders are in hot water with potential voters. Fifty-one percent of voters had an unfavorable view of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and in the Senate Harry Reid (D-NV) was tied with Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with 39 percent of respondents unhappy with their performance.

The poll, conducted by CNN, was taken between August 5th to August 7th. Taken only of congressional leaders, it suggests that the American people may not be giving any lawmakers “safe seats” come 2012. Let the re-election race begin.

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