It's the economy, again

It is no coincidence that views of Congress in The Bay State are souring at the same time as the Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) is dropping.  The last two quarterly polls have shown a 14 point drop in the Massachusetts ICS as well as a sharp, 19 point drop in favorable views of Congress.  Past research has shown the close relationship between the two statistics.  The chart below shows how close generic congressional approval ratings have tracked with the ICS over the years on a national level (^  To translate, when views of the economy hit the skids, views of congress soon follow.

It is also worth noting that the precipitous drop in views of Congress shown in the most recent MPG poll mirrors what is occurring at the national level.  The New York Times reports that their most recent poll shows the highest ever disapproval of Congress.

"A record 82 percent of Americans now disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job — the most since The Times first began asking the question in 1977, and even more than after another political stalemate led to a shutdown of the federal government in 1995."