Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Poll: 74 percent of Americans say Congress out of touch

(CNN) -- Just weeks before crucial midterm elections, a new poll says nearly three quarters of Americans see Congress as out of touch, much as they did in 1994, the last time the minority party took control of Capitol Hill.

Seventy-four percent of respondents to a new Opinion Research poll say Congress is generally out of touch with average Americans. That's up from 69 percent who agreed with that view in a January poll this year.

In 1994, 75 percent of respondents to a CNN poll also said Congress was out of touch. Voters then proceeded to vote out Democrats in both the House and the Senate, a sweep that hadn't been seen in the House since 1952. (Watch to see if the middle-class American dream is broken -- 1:50)

Recent polls have suggested increased voter interest in this election, as growing unpopularity over the U.S.-led war in Iraq and scandals in Congress have boiled over into the political arena. (Full story)

The GOP's hold on power in Congress is slim. Democrats need only a net gain of 15 seats to retake the House and six to control the Senate. Political watchers say those majorities, especially the one in the House, may be threatened.

According to the poll, 58 percent of respondents said they believe most members of Congress are focused on special interests, and 38 percent said the legislators pay more attention to constituents.


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