Poll: 59 percent of GOP say new Congress will do same or better than old one

Nearly 60 percent of GOP voters in a new poll say that the Congress divided between a Democratic House and Republican Senate will do the same or better than the previous one, which had GOP majorities in both chambers.

The Hill-HarrisX poll released Wednesday found that 37 percent of self-identified Republican voters said they expect the newly sworn-in Congress to perform about the same as the previous one while 22 percent expect it to do better.

Another 41 percent of Republicans said they expect the new Congress to do a worse job addressing major issues facing the nation between now and the 2020 elections.

Democratic voters in the poll are much more enthusiastic about the 116th Congress, with 64 percent saying they expect it to do a better job, compared to 30 percent who said it would do the same and 6 percent said it would do a worse job.

Overall, registered voters remain split over expectations for the new Congress, with 38 percent saying they expect it to perform about the same as the old one and 39 percent expecting it to do better. Roughly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, say it will do a worse job.

"I think we’ve known for a long time that there are many Republicans who don’t trust the Republicans in Congress. It’s one of the reasons why President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE swept a bunch of congressional officeholders, former senators and governors, when he ran for president," Henry Olsen, an election analyst and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, said Wednesday on "What America's Thinking," Hill.TV's show about public opinion and polling.

GOP voters have consistently given their congressional leaders lower marks in surveys than grassroots Democrats have offered for their party leaders.

A separate Hill-HarrisX poll released Tuesday found that 69 percent of Democrats had a favorable or very favorable opinion of newly minted Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference MORE (D-Calif.) while 45 percent of Republican voters felt the same about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference GOP eager to exploit Dem court-packing fight MORE (R-Ky.).

The new Congress, which was sworn in last week, began with congressional Democrats and the White House in a budgetary stalemate over the president's demand for money to fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

—Matthew Sheffield