WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – As President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans continue to fight over issues from spending to guns, the electorate is backing the president on most issues, according to a new Washington Post poll.

According to the poll, President Obama has a 55 percent approval rating compared to 41 percent who disapprove of the president. The president also is at 50 percent approval for his handling of the economy heading into the debt limit and government spending debate.

Overall, 53 percent of voters said they felt optimistic about the policies President Obama will pursue in his second term in office.

On the flip side, Congress is as unpopular as it’s ever been, according to the Post poll. Seventy-six percent of those surveyed disapproved of Congress’ job performance. Breaking it down by party, Democrats had a 59 percent disapproval rating compared to Congressional Republicans’ 71 percent disapproval rating.

When it comes to working together in Washington for the good of the American people, both Obama and Congress were below 50 percent. Forty-eight percent said Obama was doing the right amount or too much compromising with Republicans in Congress, while 48 percent said he was doing too little.

On the Republican side, the Post poll found 67 percent of voters said Republicans were doing too little to compromise with the President, compared to 27 percent who said the GOP was doing about the right amount or too much.

Finally, when it comes to the debt ceiling fight and the threat of the government defaulting on the debt, voters said the issue of raising the debt ceiling should be kept as a separate issue from spending cuts by a 58-36 percent margin.