Mad Republicans, not-so-mad Dems both want more focus on economy, jobs - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Mad Republicans, not-so-mad Dems both want more focus on economy, jobs

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Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:48 pm, Mon Sep 13, 2010.

Arizona Republicans are mad as hell at the federal government.

But Democrats? Not so much.

That's the conclusion of a new Rasmussen Reports survey conducted earlier this week of 500 likely Arizona voters. It found that 79 percent of Republicans questioned said they are very angry at federal policies, with another 15 percent describing themselves as somewhat angry.

By contrast, Democrats seem relatively content, what with having control of the White House and both houses of Congress. In fact, pollster Scott Rasmussen found that nearly half of all Democrats said they were not very angry, with another 20 percent saying they have no anger at all at the politicos and policies in Washington.

That doesn't mean elected Democrats can rest easy in districts even where they have a plurality.

"Ultimately, people just don't think anybody in Washington is listening," Rasmussen said.

He said that's not just an Arizona problem. Rasmussen said more than two-thirds of voters nationwide say they don't think members of Congress care what their constituents think.

"Hardly anybody believes their own representative in Congress is the best person for the job," Rasmussen said.

Narrowing the issue, he found that 43 percent of Arizona Democrats believe that neither party's leaders - not their own nor the GOP - have a good understanding of what is needed today.

That sentiment is not lost on Republicans: Several GOP candidates and the outside groups that support them already are running commercials trying to equate some Democratic congressional incumbents and candidates with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But Republicans, too, feel that party leaders on both sides of the aisle are out of touch: 69 percent said they have no understanding of what the nation needs.

And a majority of those questioned believe that members of Congress don't care what their constituents think.

What voters of both sides believe is needed, the survey suggests, is more attention to the economy. Both Democrats and Republicans rated that the top issue.

Nearly half of those questioned believe the job market is worse now than it was a year ago, though that sentiment appears somewhat more prevalent among Republicans.

And five out of six voters know someone who is out of work and looking for a job.

All that, said Rasmussen, does not bode well for those asking voters to send them back to Washington.

"This is certainly a more anti-incumbent year than we have seen in a long time," he said. But Rasmussen said this has been coming for years.

He said people voted in 2006 and again in 2008 against the party in power, which happened to be Republicans.

"In 2010, they're going to do it again," he said.

The survey has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

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