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Once Again, Everybody Hates Congress

The latest Gallup poll shows that Congressional job approval remains at the lowest level it’s ever been:

PRINCETON, NJ — Ten percent of Americans in August approve of the job Congress is doing, tying last February’s reading as the lowest in Gallup’s 38-year history of this measure. Eighty-three percent disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job.

Congress approval was 30% in Gallup’s first measure using this question wording in April 1974, and has averaged 34% across the more than 230 times it has been measured since. Congress approval has been below 40% since early 2005, and below 20% every month since June 2011 — dropping to 10% in February of this year and again now.

Before 2007, Congress approval had been below 20% only twice — in 1979 and 1992. The highest congressional job approval in Gallup’s history was 84% in October 2001, a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

Congressional approval is down among all political groups and is now virtually the same across these groups — with Democrats at 9%, independents at 11%, and Republicans at 10%. Democrats’ approval declined the most, from 18% in July.

Here’s a chart showing how this number has fared since 1974:

None of this is particularly surprising, of course. These numbers have been going down steadily for years now, as the chart at the top of the post attests. Additionally, hating Congress is a grand American tradition that goes back to the earliest days of the Republic. Nonetheless, one must wonder what the political and social implications are when the basic institutions of our government are held in such low regard.

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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. Rob in CT says:

    Maybe the House should vote to repeal the ACA another time. That’ll fix everything!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. legion says:

    Well, Romney is doing everything he can to make Congress work better – he’s pulled Ryan out to campaign with him. If we don’t vote for him, he’ll send Ryan back there!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. Dazedandconfused says:

    Seems we are electing a new majority with vastly differing views every two years. The Daily Show had a nice bit last night where they demonstrated the same ad works for both sides.

    The People must make up their minds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. al-Ameda says:

    And Paul Ryan is an important part of the House Republican delegation that is responsible for those sterling ratings.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. john personna says:

    Obama has had difficulty running against Congress. The President’s much stronger approval numbers show that people get it on some level, but it’s not a case people have liked.

    I’ve heard the idea that Ryan gives a bit of a wedge on this. His wildy unpopular budget is an illustration of what House Congessmen have been up to.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. grumpy realist says:

    Except that it’s the American People who keep reelecting all their Congresscritters they hate so much…..it’s always “well, the rest of them are crooks, but my guy is a good guy.”

    You can’t elect a snarling “my-way-or-the-highway” type and then complain when nothing gets done.

    Americans are idiots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Murray says:

    Democracy is just sooooooooooooo messy.

    This kind of polling should be called “This week in unnecessary polling”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. john personna says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I believe my Orange County distrct has had Republican Representarives and Democratic Senators for the last 30 years. Maybe some of you have more variety.

    Anyway, I think the deal is loss of pragmatism and problem solving in that time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist:

    “well, the rest of them are crooks, but my guy is a good guy.”

    Not mine. She is as crooked as a dogs hind leg. (Emerson) Not that I will ever get any better than her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. john personna says:

    Watching a recording of Morning Joe, who gets mad and rants against Congessional outcomes as if they were Obama’s plan and choice.

    Lie or delusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. stonetools says:

    In 1946 a huge wave of Republicans were elected amidst a severe postwar recession. In 1948 the wave went right out again following Truman’s “Give ‘em hell” campaign against a “Do Nothing ” Congress. This is another highly disliked ” Do Nothing” Congress.

    Can it happen again?
    “Give ‘em hell, Barry”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Ernieyeball says:

    I worked in the telephone industry for the better part of 35 years. Traveled across the USA working for many local exchanges in 14 states.
    I am not exaggerating when I say everyone hated the phone company all the time!
    Maybe I should run for congress!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Except that it’s the American People who keep reelecting all their Congresscritters they hate so much…..it’s always “well, the rest of them are crooks, but my guy is a good guy.”

    You can’t elect a snarling “my-way-or-the-highway” type and then complain when nothing gets done.

    Americans are idiots.

    You are absolutely right. The voters are a direct cause of the crap they complain about..

    In 2010 voters turned the House of Representative over to obstructionist Republican radicals, who were willing to bring down the credit rating of the United States in order to advance their agenda (which was to obstruct the president at every turn) and now the voters are angry and act like they had nothing to do with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. stonetools says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Word. You get the government you vote for. Fortunately, this November voters can rectify the huge mistake of 2010. TBH, I’m not sure what they thought they were doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. Ernieyeball says:

    @stonetools: I’m not sure what they thought they were doing.

    Why are you giving them credit for thinking?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Big M says:

    OK, for starters, only imbeciles take polls seriously. And why is there no information offered here as to how many people were questioned in this phony poll, or what kind of questions they were asked? This kind of crap is about as pathetic and insipid as it gets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0