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Congressional Job Approval Falls To 13%

A new Gallup poll puts public approval of Congress at its lowest level yet:

Americans’ assessment of Congress has hit a new low, with 13% saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job. The 83% disapproval rating is also the worst Gallup has measured in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance.

The prior low approval rating for Congress was 14% in July 2008 when the United States was dealing with record-high gas prices and the economy was in recession.

And the discontent is fairly universal regardless of political party:

In some sense, of course, none of this is new. Congress has been a target of public indignation for as long as they’re been a Congress. It was, after all, Mark Twain who said that “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” and “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”  Also, the idea that Americans hate Congress but love their Congressman has been a truism for decades, and the reason why, even in a “change” year like 2010, 87% of House incumbents and 84% of Senate incumbents were re-elected.

Nonetheless, the extent to which public confidence in public institutions has deteriorated over the past decade or so is somewhat disturbing.

UPDATE (James Joyner):  There’s virtually no statement so absurd or outrageous you couldn’t get 13% of Americans to agree on.   For example, far more than 13% believe President Obama is a secret Muslim.  So, this is getting pretty close to as low as Congress could conceivably poll.

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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


  1. john personna says:

    “Gridlock” … what could possibly go wrong?

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  2. michael reynolds says:

    I believe that 13% is members, their staff and immediate family.

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  3. […] Always Hate Congress, Doug Mataconis writes at Outside the Beltway. “In some sense, of course, none of this is new. … It […]

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