Public Blames Congress, Not Obama, For Sour Economy

New poll finds 9 in 10 Americans think Congress stinks.

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Congress gets virtually all of the public's scorn for the sour economy and Washington gridlock in a new poll obtained by Whispers—a finding that supports President Obama's 2012 reelection strategy of running against Capitol Hill.

The non-partisan group "No Labels" also found that virtually all Americans, 94 percent, say congressional inaction is harming the economy. [See editorial cartoons about the economy.]

"Nine out of 10 citizens blame Congress for the most pressing problems Americans are facing," said No Labels Co-Founder Bill Galston. "We saw from the failure of the Super Committee that gridlock and hyper-partisanship have utterly impeded Congress' ability to carry out its responsibilities to the American people. We see good people stuck in a rotten system, and we have to change the rules to fix what's broken."

While the poll doesn't mention Obama, it's about the best news his campaign strategists have heard this year. That's because Congress takes most of the punches. The No-Labels poll finds that 86 percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. [Subscribe to U.S. News Weekly, now available as an iPad app.]

The poll also backed up efforts by No Labels to push congressional reforms. According to the group, "85% understand the necessary urgency of reducing gridlock and would support a reform package that could address the structural problems facing Congress in as little as 24 hours. 59% think that this strategy would have the most immediate impact, which is more than double the 28% who prefer conventional campaign finance reform, and more than four times the 13% who prefer redistricting reform. In fact, 67% were willing to go the extra mile and call their congressman in support of a rule reform package."

They have just issued a 12-point reform plan that includes unusual ideas like copying Britain's question and answer period in Parliament. [Read Schlesinger:No, Both Sides Aren't to Blame for the 'Super Committee' Failure.]

The full plan will be unveiled at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Dec. 13.

"The agenda is the only proposal today aimed at fixing the broken Congress, and it has powerful citizen support behind it. With congressional approval at 9 percent, we don't have any more time to waste," said No Labels Co-Founder Mark McKinnon.

Their poll was taken through an online survey of 800 registered voters, with a margin of error of ±3.5 percent.

  • Read more about the deficit and national debt.
  • See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.
  • Check out a slideshow of the 2012 GOP hopefuls.