Despite cheers from Democrats in Washington, the public overwhelmingly rejects President Obama's plan to go around Congress to push his agenda past GOP opposition.

But the reason is shocking: More Americans believe Congress represents “the will of the people” than the president, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll hooked to the State of the Union.

The poll is an unusual one because it goes beyond the typical questions about public approval of Congress, lately in the single digits. By asking who best represents them, Rasmussen revealed the strongest indication yet from the public yet that they are turning their backs on Obama.

The findings support recent polls that indicate the public also doesn’t like the president. When Rasmussen asked who represents them best, 40 percent said the much-hated Congress, 38 percent Obama, and 21 percent said they were not sure.

That explains why the public also doesn’t like the president’s plan to govern by executive order instead of legislation passed by both houses of Congress. In the new poll, 69 percent said it is better for Obama to work with Congress than ignore it.

“President Obama made it clear in his State of the Union speech last night that he is prepared to take independent executive action if he can’t get Congress to work with him on some major issues, but voters strongly believe it’s better for the president to work with Congress than to go it alone,” said Rasmussen.

But the pollster noted that Americans also want Republicans to play ball with the president. Some 53 percent said it is more important for the GOP to work with Obama, but 40 percent said the Republicans should stand “for what it believes in.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at