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 July 26, 2007  

MEDIA CONTACT: Tracy Schario
(202) 994-3566;


WASHINGTON - The latest George Washington University Battleground 2008 Poll found a remarkable level of cynicism about Washington as 71 percent of likely voters believe that their Member of Congress puts partisan politics ahead of them. The President's approval rating is still low, but few would have predicted last January that the Congress as an institution would be facing its lowest approval levels in history.

While the war in Iraq continues be unpopular (53% consider the war "not worth fighting for"), only 35 percent of voters think that Congressional Democrats can have a lot of influence on the war. Another 36 percent think they can have some. However, Congressional Republicans are not far ahead, as 41 percent think that they can have a lot of influence on the war in Iraq, and 35 percent think they can have some influence.

Christopher Arterton, dean of GW's Graduate School of Political Management, said,
"The political climate change since the mid-term elections may be short-lived if Democrats are unable to realize tangible changes on the war in Iraq. Republicans, however, also must stay alert to voters' desire for change and their growing cynicism of and frustration with partisan politics. The spotlight for now is on the presidential candidates, but soon congressional candidates will be called upon to defend their actions and explain how they will bring change."

In some potential 2008 presidential match-ups, this poll found Giuliani (49%) leading Clinton (44%), and Fred Thompson (46%) and Clinton (46%) tied.  Obama (52%) leads Giuliani (42%), and Obama (56%) leads Fred Thompson (35%).  The survey also provides insights into diverse areas like the direction of the country, current generic ballots, top issues of concern, congressional approval, presidential approval, issue handling, attitudes about the economy, views about the major 2008 candidates, and attitudes about cynicism in politics and government.
This bipartisan GW-Battleground 2008 Poll surveyed 1,000 registered likely voters nationwide July 15-18, 2007, and yielded a margin of error of + 3.1 percent. 

The George Washington University is the sponsor of the GW-Battleground Poll, a highly regarded, bi-partisan election survey conducted by top polling firms The Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners.  GW's role in the poll is guided by the University's Graduate School of Political Management, which is celebrating its 20th year as the nation?s first university-level program in applied politics.  The University is recognized as the "Hottest School for Political Junkies" in the Kaplan/Newsweek How to Get Into College guide (2003 and 2005). 

Initiated in June 1991, the GW-Battleground Polls have gained widespread media recognition as reliable, leading indicators of national opinion and voters' intentions. This national polling program is unique to the industry because it offers the distinct perspectives of two top pollsters from different sides of the political aisle. This is the 32nd poll conducted by Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group.

GW-Battleground Poll data is available at,, or

The GW-Battleground Poll archives since 1991 are at GW?s Gelman Library and can be accessed at

For more news about GW, visit the GW News Center at



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