As the government shutdown snorted and whinnied on into its second week, the mood accountants at Pew checked in with the American public. Here's a little of what they discovered:
Eighty-one percent say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States, while just 14 percent are satisfied. The percentage saying they are satisfied with the state of the nation has fallen 13 points since July and is now at its lowest level since the financial crisis in late 2008.
The grim public mood is reflected in the record share of voters who want most members of Congress defeated in next year’s midterm elections. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of registered voters would like to see most members of Congress defeated; during the 2010 and 2006 election cycles, which both culminated in shifts in control of the House, no more than 57 percent in each of these two cycles wanted most members of Congress not to be reelected.
Moreover, the share saying they do not want their own representative reelected – 38 percent – is as high as it has been in two decades. At this stage in the 2010 and 2006 midterms, fewer wanted to see their own member of Congress defeated (29 percent in November 2009, 25 percent in September 2005).
November 2014 is a long ways off, but there's little to suggest this Congress is planning any sudden lurch to reasonableness anytime soon. If this autumn of discontent can hold out til then, members of Congress may wish to buckle up.