WASHINGTON – The 111th Congress returned to Washington this week with a record of legislative achievement that rivals President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” Voters may show their thanks by throwing lawmakers out of office.

Encouraged by Barack Obama, a new president from their own party, the Democrat-led House and Senate provided health-care coverage for another 32 million Americans, offering coverage for 95 percent of U.S. residents. Their $814 billion stimulus bill created or saved 3.3 million jobs, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

New laws rescued the financial industry from the worst collapse since the Great Depression as well as thousands of property owners from foreclosure with $4 billion of aid. And, for the first time, consumers have federal protection from opaque lending practices that caused the real estate crash.

Obama achieved his goals with a narrower majority than Johnson had in Congress, and Obama also has failed to convince a majority of voters that Congress has done enough to make life better for them. Polls show likely Republican gains in Nov. 2 congressional elections to the extent that the Democrats may lose their House and Senate majorities.

“Nothing the Democrats could possibly do is likely to alter the basic course of this election,” said David Rohde, a political scientist at Duke University. “The things that are mainly affecting voters, Democrats can’t do anything about.”

The scope of the laws enacted is comparable to congressional action in the 1960s that created Medicare and approved landmark civil-rights laws, said James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University in Washington. Democrats did it with smaller majorities than when Congress enacted Johnson’s and President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

“Historically, it’s going to rank as one of the most productive Congresses in recent time, comparable to LBJ’s first two years, and maybe even Franklin Roosevelt’s time” when Social Security was created, said Thurber, editor of a 2004 book “The Battle for Congress: Consultants, Candidates and Voters.”

Congress also passed laws to help ensure pay equity, enabling women to pursue lawsuits claiming they were underpaid, and allowed the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the tobacco industry, resulting in restrictions on cigarette marketing. Lawmakers also expanded state programs for children’s health insurance, offering coverage for an additional 3.5 million kids.

Still, Obama’s party has found little public support, as only 33 percent of Americans surveyed by The Gallup Poll said they approve of the job Democrats are doing in Congress. Obama’s approval rating is below 50 percent, and polls show a lack of public confidence in the health plan, financial overhaul and economic stimulus.

This year, Democrats are hamstrung. Democrats’ accomplishments have been overshadowed by voters’ concerns about the economy, soaring deficits and a 9.6 percent unemployment rate. Much of what was enacted won’t be felt for a long time, and Obama also has failed to create a convincing narrative of the accomplishments for the public, analysts say.

The House and Senate, which returned to Washington this week after a month’s summer break, plan to finish pre-election work by early October. Then comes a final campaign debate.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said Democrats haven’t gained politically because Obama and Congress have gone “far beyond where the American people are in terms of expansion of government,” spending money and increasing debt. “This is a major sea change in policy, and the American people have reacted very badly to it,” he said.

With health-care, Democrats “knew we had an historic opportunity to be there with Social Security, Medicare,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said in July. Republican attacks against her are “a sign of how effective we have been; they want to stop that,” she said.

Democrats drove through Obama’s agenda with a far narrower margin of control than in Johnson’s time, when the party held the Senate 68-32 and the House by a 295-140 margin. In 1935, when Social Security was enacted, Democrats held 69 Senate seats and Republicans 25. Democrats controlled the House, 322 to 103.

“I don’t think there is any Congress that comes close” in accomplishments except those “back in the LBJ time,” said Ross Baker, a Rutgers University professor whose books about Congress include “Friend and Foe in the U.S. Senate” and “House and Senate.”

“Any great innovations always, invariably, come with a political price,” Baker said. “Unless the payoff is immediate and goes to all segments of the electorate, you pay a price for it.”

Today, Democrats control 59 of 100 seats in the Senate and 255 of the 435 House seats. This year’s health-care overhaul passed without a single Republican vote.

It is “pretty remarkable” for the Democratic-controlled Congress “to have gotten as much as they have gotten done without any Republican support,” said Ronald W. Peters, a political scientist at University of Oklahoma. Yet the party can’t look to Johnson’s time for any sense of inspiration, he said. After their productivity in the mid-1960s, Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and four seats in the Senate in 1966.

None of the legislation passed by the 111th Congress has translated into broad political support for the president’s party, analysts say.

“What they haven’t done is fix the economy,” Rohde said. “The only way the voters can express that they are unhappy is to vote against the party in power.”

According tothe Senate’s second-ranking Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, most of Congress’s achievements, such as the Wall Street overhaul, haven’t yet had a “direct personal impact” on voters.