Congressional Job Approval Plummets To 11%
Not surprisingly, public approval of Congress has fallen away in the wake of the ongoing shutdown crisis:
PRINCETON, NJ — As Congress’ inability to agree on compromises that would reopen the partially shut-down government and raise the looming debt ceiling continues, Americans give Congress an 11% job approval rating, down eight percentage points from last month and one point above the worst rating in Gallup history.
The drop in Congress’ approval rating is fueled in large part by Democrats’ declining approval of Congress — from 20% in September to 5% in October. Approval ratings among Republicans and independents have also fallen, but by much smaller margins. The big drop in Democrats’ approval of Congress most certainly reflects Democrats’ negative views of the Republican-controlled House, in which leadership has publicly demanded that the president and Democrats in Congress agree to changes in the Affordable Care Act as a condition for passing a continuing resolution or a budget. Overall, however, approval of Congress is very low across all partisan groups.
And yet, as always, the public seems to be somewhat schizophrenic:
While Congress as a whole gets dismal job approval ratings, Americans are significantly more charitable when it comes to the member of Congress representing their particular district. Americans now give their own representative a 44% approval rating, which is not an extremely high rating on an absolute basis, but is certainly high compared with Congress’ overall 11% rating in the same survey.
Americans’ ratings of their own representative is little changed from Gallup’s last measurement in May, when 46% approved. However, fewer Americans approve and more disapprove of their own member of Congress than what Gallup has found in the past, and the percentages who approve and disapprove are now essentially equal. Typically, Americans have been much more likely to approve than disapprove of their own representative.
Which, of course, is why incumbents continue to get reelected at such astoundingly high rates.