A new Washington Post poll finds, among other things, that a full 70 percent of Americans either believe Barack Obama has “tried but failed” to solve “the major problems facing the country” or has actually “made problems worse.” That compares, by the way, with 71 percent of Americans in a December 2008 Pew Center poll who thought the same of outgoing President Bush.

Yet in analyzing the polling data, Post staffers Jon Cohen and Dan Balz buried bad news for the president deep in their page A1 August 11 article and suggested the sour view Americans have on the Congress was the bigger story for the upcoming election season:

In the aftermath of the tumultuous debate over raising the debt ceiling, Americans give Washington a strong vote of no confidence, with barely a quarter of those surveyed recently saying the federal government can fix the nation’s economic problems and a large majority agreeing that the policymaking process is unstable and ineffective.

A new Washington Post poll underscores the damage done to President Obama and both political parties by the long standoff over the debt ceiling and the weakened economy. The results could have significant implications for both Republicans and Democrats, as record numbers of Americans now say they are interested in new congressional representation when they vote in November 2012.

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