Election 2006

Key Election Indicators

Congress Approval

Congressional job approval has proven to be a reliable correlate of midterm election outcomes. Low congressional job approval typically is related to the loss of House seats for the controlling party in the midterm election. The chart displays the trend in congressional job approval for midterm election years from 1990 through the present. Job approval of Congress has been low throughout the course of this year. The current 26% approval rating is similar to congressional job approval ratings in 1994, 1990, 1982, and 1978. In all four of those election years, the party occupying the White House lost seats in the congressional election. These data suggest an environment that historically has been related to a loss of seats by the incumbent party.

Congressional Job Approval
(Percent saying approve)
Among National Adults


Year

Election
outcome

Net change in Dem. Seats

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep. (1)

Sep. (2)

Sep. (3)

Oct. (1)

Oct. (2)

Oct. (3)

Final Poll

1974

59-41 D

+43

30

47

35

1978

55-46 D

-11

29

1982

56-44 D

+26

29

1986

--

+5

42

1990

54-46 D

+9

28

23

24

1994

54-47 R

-53

28

29

27

21

23

1998

50-50 R

+5

42

57

49

44

55

46

44

2002

52-48 R

-3

62

62

63

57

57

52

54

46

52

50

2006

--

--

27

25

27

23

21

27

29

27

29

24

23

26

26

Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

 

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

%

%

%

2006

2006 Nov 2-5

26

63

11

2006 Oct 20-22

26

67

6

2006 Oct 9-12

23

71

6

2006 Oct 6-8

24

68

7

2006 Sep 7-10

29

63

8

2006 Aug 7-10

27

65

8

2006 Jul 6-9

29

61

10

2006 Jun 1-4

27

63

10

2006 May 8-11

21

71

8

2006 Apr 10-13

23

70

7

2006 Mar 13-16

27

65

8

2006 Feb 6-9

25

65

10

2006 Jan 9-12

27

67

7



Do you approve or disapprove of the way [ROTATED] are handling their job?

The Republicans in Congress

 

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

%

%

%

2006 Jun 23-25

33

60

7



The Democrats in Congress

 

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

%

%

%

2006 Jun 23-25

38

55

8



Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/24298/Key-Election-Indicators.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030