As you can see, Americans thought much worse of the Republican Party, and yet favored its congressional candidates by a slight edge. Which is what we saw in the mid-term election this week. And enough slight edges across the country’s competitive districts turn into a strong run of victories for those unfavored Republicans.
But as to how voters can reconcile those attitudes in their minds, that’s a mystery. Part of the answer is turnout. Part is that we the electorate are almost evenly divided, making slight edges more crucial—this is the fourth of the last five election cycles that swung sharply against the previous vote for Congress.
And part might be underlying OIP Derangement Syndrome, in which some voters, sensing a problem in the national government, blame President Barack Obama despite agreeing in the abstract with his policies and methods.