Americans react to the failure of super committee

Steve Chiotakis Nov 22, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: Just a day after the Congressional super committee punted, and announced it couldn’t find compromise on cutting the budget deficit, there’s new polling that suggests disappointment among Americans — and a lot of apathy as well.

Frank Newport is editor-in-chief at the polling firm Gallup. And he’s with us from Washington. Hey Frank.

Frank Newport: Good morning.

Chotakis: I know the super committee’s pretty public collapse, in this economy of course, it seems to be in a holding pattern. How are regular Americans looking at what’s going on over there in D.C.?

Newport: Well, we’re going to see of course more in the weeks to come. Some very preliminary data we have from last night suggests that the average American may not be paying as much attention to this as you and I are. Concern and worry that this super committee failure is going to highly disrupt this economy is lower, frankly, than I would have expected.

Chotakis: — than you would have expected. All right, so — of the people who are paying attention to this, how are they looking at it?

Newport:They think that it will affect the economy deleteriously, they think it’ll have a negative impact. They think it will mean that it will be harder to curb the deficit. And they definitely think that the super committee should have compromised rather than holding out for principles.

Chotakis: Are you getting, from all of these polls, maybe what it means, maybe how people feel about the overall way things are getting done — or not done, as it were?

Newport:Oh, absolutely — and it’s terrible. Our approval rating — for example — for Congress is the lowest in history. Overall satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. — the so-called “right track” number — is down about 12 percent, which is almost, but not at, the lowest it’s been. So most of the measures that we track here at Gallup are exceedingly negative at the moment.

Chotakis: Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup. Frank, thanks.

Newport: My pleasure.

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