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Congress Less Popular Than Lice, Brussel Sprouts, Nickleback

Yet another poll reveals just how unpopular Congress has become:

Our newest national poll finds that Congress only has a 9% favorability rating with 85% of voters viewing it in a negative light. We’ve seen poll after poll after poll over the last year talking about how unpopular Congress is but really, what’s the difference between an 11% or a 9% or a 7% favorability rating? So we decided to take a different approach and test Congress’ popularity against 26 different things. And what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and evenNickelback.

Here’s what we found:

It’s gross to have lice but at least they can be removed in a way that given the recent reelection rates members of Congress evidently can’t: Lice 67 Congress 19

Brussel sprouts may have been disgusting as a kid, but evidently they’re now a lot less disgusting than Congress: Brussel Sprouts 69 Congress 23

The NFL replacement refs may have screwed everything up, but voters think Congress is screwing everything up even worse: Replacement Refs 56 Congressmen 29 (the breakdown among Packers fans might be a little bit different).

Colonoscopies are not a terribly pleasant experience but at least they have some redeeming value that most voters aren’t seeing in Congress: Colonoscopies 58 Congress 31

(…)

It may be true that everyone hates Nickelback, but apparently everyone hates Congress even more: Nickelback 39 Congress 32

Genghis Khan did a lot of bad stuff but I guess it’s faded from voters’ minds in a way that Congress’ recent misdeeds haven’t: Genghis Khan 41 Congress 37

DC political pundits and Donald Trump aren’t held in very high esteem by the population, but they still both manage to just barely edge Congress: DC political pundits 37 Congress 34 and Donald Trump 44 Congress 42

It’s not all bad for Congress, though:

By relatively close margins it beats out Lindsey Lohan (45/41), playground bullies (43/38), and telemarketers (45/35). And it posts wider margins over the Kardashians (49/36), John Edwards (45/29), lobbyists (48/30), Fidel Castro (54/32), Gonorrhea (53/28), Ebola (53/25), Communism (57/23), North Korea (61/26), and meth labs (60/21)

Couldn’t get much worse, could it?

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. C. Clavin says:

    And, it turns out, they continue to do their very best to hold back the economic recovery.
    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2013/01/debt-limit-fiscal-cliff-jpmorgan-economy-jobs.php?ref=fpnewsfeed

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Couldn’t get much worse, could it?

    Congress has not yet even begun to defile that institution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. Rob in CT says:

    Tombstone gets you an upvote, Prather.

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  4. emondo says:

    Someone must like them: Their re-elect rate is 94%

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    Reminds me of the old wisecrack about the difference between death and taxes: death doesn’t get worse when Congress is in session.

    The really significant part of Congress’s declining approval is the change in approval of people’s own Congressmen. The last poll of that I saw said that only 1/3rd of Americans approve of their own Congressman’s performance. How that reconciles with reelection of incumbents I have no idea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. mattb says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    The last poll of that I saw said that only 1/3rd of Americans approve of their own Congressman’s performance. How that reconciles with reelection of incumbents I have no idea.

    While one might not like their congresscritter, most people still prefer them to one from the other party. And so long as districts are gerrymandered to favor one party, the “lesser evil” keeps getting re-elected.

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  7. @Rob in CT: I was wondering if anyone would catch that. Val Kilmer was great in that movie.

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  8. de stijl says:

    @mattb:

    While one might not like their congresscritter, most people still prefer them to one from the other party. And so long as districts are gerrymandered to favor one party, the “lesser evil” keeps getting re-elected.

    Added to that is the X is not as bad as Y equation – aka, my congresscriter may be a R/D, but at least she / he ain’t as bad as – I don’t know – Paul Wellstone? Strom Thurmond? Crazy cats like that.

    Mostly it’s inertia. Inertia is way underrated as a physical law. It pops up all over the place.

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  9. Tsar Nicholas says:

    But when 95% of Representatives and 80%-plus of Senators get reelected in 2014 (and 2016, 2018, etc.) some people actually will be surprised.

    That aside, what’s so wrong with Nickelback? Back in the day they had some good tunes. Then again I still was drinking heavily back then.

    It was heartening to see that even Congress beat out communism. We’ve slipped as a country and the future truly is bleak. But maybe there’s still a little bit of grounds for some hope.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Figures…. I like Brussels Sprouts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Dave Schuler says:

    @mattb:

    I think that what’s actually happening is that a third of the electorate are voting to re-elect, something under a third are voting against, and the balance are completely disaffected, discouraged. They aren’t voting at all.

    I don’t believe that’s a formula for good governance. It’s a formula for illegitimacy.,

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  12. rudderpedals says:

    The House in particular comes off like an inverted version of the twisted Congress depicted in Birth of a Nation

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  13. de stijl says:

    Nickleback

    Nickel – like the metal.

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  14. bill says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: it had to be the booze, nickleback is horrible! but it’s kind of ironic that how bad everything is we still didn’t change much during the election- guess we’re used to it?

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  15. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: “Then again I still was drinking heavily back then.”

    You’ve stopped? Who knew? Just for an experiment, get really raging drunk (or baked if you prefer pharmacopia these days) and write a comment to another post. We can check to see the effect alcohol has on your thinking.

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  16. mattb says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    I think that what’s actually happening is that a third of the electorate are voting to re-elect, something under a third are voting against, and the balance are completely disaffected, discouraged.

    Fair… I’m not sure that’s mutually exclusive.

    The present US electoral system — as ST and others have pointed out — tends to discourage a lot of voting for a variety of reasons (limited poll hours, gerrymandered districts, electorally safe states). So that’s a problem.

    As far as voting to re-elect, again, some might be (% with a positive approval rating). I suspect far more are just voting strict party line — which, returning to gerrymandering — means that the majority of people in a given district are voting the same party line.

    This get’s shaken up a bit in the primaries, but as noted numerous times, that’s not necessarily a good thing as it typically leads to more “extreme” candidates.

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  17. Just Me says:

    How that reconciles with reelection of incumbents I have no idea.

    I also think money has a lot to do with it. Incumbents often have far more money and name recognition than their opponents.

    And lets face it the average voter probably can’t name who their congressman is much less have a real opinion on whether they are doing a good job.

    Also, 1/3 is easily a popular vote win if most of that 1/3 are the type who show up to vote in the primaries and general elections.

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  18. An Interested Party says:

    Someone must like them…

    Indeed…the people in state governments who gerrymander congressional districts…

    Then again I still was drinking heavily back then.

    Considering the inane horse$hit you post here, the heavy drinking obviously hasn’t stopped…unless you have moved on to huffing paint thinner…

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  19. al-Ameda says:

    Honestly, voters are lying scum – they hate Congress and they re-elect everyone.

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