Commentary: It’s not any big secret that President Barack Obama is going to campaign against a do-nothing Congress in this election.

Seventy percent of voters tell pollsters that the country is heading in the wrong direction, and only 13 percent approve of the job done by Congress. It makes Obama’s average 45 percent approval rating look stratospheric.

Persistently high unemployment should make this a cake walk year for Republicans. The anti-Obama passion already has self-identified Republicans impatiently awaiting the 2012 election.

Dispirited Democrats didn’t turn out in 2010 creating a Republican tidal wave. It’s not at all clear yet that the president can revive the passions that made his first election possible.

While no one likes either party in Congress, it’s become a more serious problem for Republicans than Democrats.

A recent Pew Research Center poll frames the issue.

Pew reported two in three voters think most members of Congress should be voted out of office. The number of voters who want to fire their own congressman or woman matches two years ago when a record 58 incumbents were defeated

Here is the GOP problem. The poll concluded, “By wide margins, the GOP is seen as the party that is more extreme in its positions, less willing to work with the other side to get things done and less honest and ethical in the way it governs.”

That is a problem for the GOP, but the news actually gets even worse. According to the poll, 60 percent of Democrats approve of their congressional leadership while less than half of Republicans approve of theirs.

The flip side of the coin is President Obama’s approval, among the independent voter that will actually decide who wins the 2012 election, is still dismal.

Anything can happen, but as of today, it looks like the Republican nominee will need to separate himself from his party in congress, and that’s tough when you need to unify your party to win.