Just 8% Of Americans Trust Congress

Capitol Building Daytime 1

A new Gallup poll shows that Members of Congress are viewed as being less trustworthy than pretty much any other profession in the country:

Gallup December One


Jonathan Capehart seems to find some significance in the fact that the number of people who say they trust Congress dropped from 10% to 8% in just two weeks based on the poll that came out last month:

Gallup November


Capehart wonders if the budget bill has something to do with the drop. However, given that the Margin of Error was +/- 4 points in both polls the reality is that the difference between the two is statistically insignificant. In any case, it’s rather obvious that very few people trust Congress or its members, and it’s easy to understand why.


FILED UNDER: Congress, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    My questions are who are this 8% and what would it take for the scales to fall from their eyes?

  2. Pinky says:

    This is what “statistically insignificant” means. Did 2% of the population change their minds about Congress? Did 5% change their minds about clergy, or pharmacists? No, or rather, if they did, this tool wouldn’t be able to detect it.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    I trust them implicitly…to do the bidding of the wealthy…to bow to the altar of cash…no matter the cost to the Republic.

  4. legion says:

    @Dave Schuler: I’m more interested in what it would take for that 92% to actually stop re-electing the same dirtbags over and over…

  5. rudderpedals says:

    I’d love to see how different subgroups responded to the question. There’s some polling term of art for those breakdowns I don’t remember. Is more data available somewhere?

  6. john personna says:

    What was the name of that 15% rule? That you could get 15% to believe anything? Amazing that Congress has broken through.

    … of course, I’m not sure Congress cares.

  7. C. Clavin says:

    @john personna:
    Right…45% of America believes in ghosts…but not in Congress.

  8. CSK says:

    @C. Clavin:

    And according to a Roper poll conducted in 2002, 20% of Americans believe in alien abduction.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Several commenters here are proof-positive of that.

  10. rudderpedals says:

    Crosstabs? Anyone?

  11. JWH says:

    Of course, people’s answers change if you ask “What do you think of YOUR congressman?” or “What do you think of YOUR lawyer?” Although, AFAIK, people never trust a car salesman.

  12. Dave Schuler says:


    Go check Gallup. Disapproval of one’s own congressman is at an all-time high, too.

    legion asks a good question. I think it’s because they don’t really have much choice. Hereabouts at any rate many candidates run in fact or in effect unopposed.

  13. al-Ameda says:

    No wonder Republicans were anxious to make a budget deal with Democrats.