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Americans think the Democratic-led Congress is doing just as dreary a job as Republican President George W. Bush, following four months of bitter political standoffs that have seen little progress on Iraq and a host of domestic issues.
An AP-Ipsos poll also found that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a more popular figure than the president and her colleagues in Congress, though she faces a gender gap in which significantly more women than men support her.
The survey found only 35 percent approve of how Congress is handling its job, down 5 percentage points in a month. That gives lawmakers the same bleak approval rating as Bush, who has been mired at about that level since last fall, including his dip to a record low for the AP-Ipsos poll of 32% last January.
In another measure of popular discontent, the survey found that 71% say the United States is on the wrong track, which is about even with the 73% who said so last May, the worst level since the AP-Ipsos poll began in December 2003.
The survey was taken Monday through Wednesday, before Bush offered to seek compromise with congressional Democrats over a war-spending bill that would set benchmarks for progress in Iraq.
Overall approval of Bush was steady from last month, but fell to 69% among Republicans, about 7 percentage points below where it had been in April. Earlier this week, a group of moderate Republican members of the House of Representatives warned Bush that the status quo in Iraq could mean Republican election losses next year.
"If the war doesn't begin to turn around, Republicans will have problems," said Rep. Peter King, a Republican who said he supports Bush's Iraq policy.
White House spokesman Tony Snow refused to comment on the poll.
Congress' approval rating this week was 10 points higher than a year ago, when Republicans were in control.