October 26th, 2007
04:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Approval of Congress at 22 percent

Congress' approval rating stands at 22 percent.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It may not come as a surprise that a new poll shows Americans think Congress is doing a pretty lousy job.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Friday shows the approval rating for all members of Congress sits at a dismal 22 percent, while 75 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way Congress is handling its job. (Read full poll results [PDF])

"The big issues of the day just don't seem to be being addressed," said Sarah Binder, a political science professor at George Washington University who studies Congress. "The issues that matter most to people - the economy, health care, the environment and the larger war in Iraq - it is so difficult for Congress to move on those issues that I believe the public looks and says 'why aren't they doing anything?'"

Even though the overall approval rating of Congress leaves much to be desired, Democrats can find a bit of a silver lining in the new survey. Approval of congressional Democrats stands at 43 percent, twice that of Congress in general. The flip side, however, is that the congressional Democratic leadership still faces a disapproval rating of 51 percent, a figure that has increased 11 percentage points since March.

"I think it is important to remember that when Congress performs well, when it actually addresses the big issues of the day, it tends to be rewarded in the public's view of Congress," said Binder. "If today's approval ratings are down in the dumps, we probably shouldn't be surprised. On the big issues of the day, Congress doesn't seem to be doing very much."

The poll, conducted October 12-14, surveyed roughly 600 Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points

– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson


Filed under: Congress • Polls
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Phil Chicago, Ill

    Nancy, Harry.... take a bow. Really, what you have accomplished might seem near the impossible – President Bush has nearly TWICE the approval rating as you and your cohorts!

    October 26, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Bob, Seattle, WA

    Messr's Reid, Murtha, Starks, and Schumer and Ms. Pelosi are working 'very hard' to insure a Republican resurgence that will materialize in wins in '08. This isn't really a surprise to anybody is it? Only those keeping their heads in the sand and insist on being the 'choir' for these far left preachers can rationalize their actions. The rest of America, as attested by the polls, will deliver the 'reality' opinion come '08. Look for a major overhaul of Congress. Most of the even minded Dems are starting to figure this out. Watch how they are jettisoning their far left supporters and positions in a ever rapidly show of rats leaving the ship.

    October 26, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. John Douthitt, Fort Ashby, WV

    During this poll, did anyone ask if the resondent would vote to return his or her representitive to Congress? Although only 22% approve of members of Congress in general, I believe a majority approve and will return their own representitives. This kind of general approval rating is meaningless in projecting how people will vote.

    October 26, 2007 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Lorenz, Queens, Ny

    Many people in congress are liers – they do not represent the people and perform treasonous activities. One man who does not do this is R-Texas Ron Paul, who need more people in congress like Ron Paul. Get INVOLVED in Politics.

    October 26, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. Steve, New York

    Do we really need a poll to tell us that this is the worst congress in oh I don’t know lets say 20 years!
    Its safe to say a lot of congress will be out of jobs come 2008. This includes the DEMS who got into office on broken promises. I think its worse to lie to the American people then to just be a cheat but be up front about it. Looks like the deems messed up. The rep. will be back in 2008. LOL GREAT JOB DEMS!

    October 26, 2007 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Karen,nj

    Well, I am disappointed with Congress because they didn't even try to impeach Bush. Also because they keep giving him money for the war in Iraq. The Republicans tried to impeach Clinton for that lewd act, but at least it didn't affect how he ran the presidency.

    October 26, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. JC, Motor City MI

    Hmm. That is funny, once you take partisianship out of the question we all agree. They all suck. Congress at 22% and W a few points higher.

    It is clear that people want our representatives to get beyond the bickering and do some work...that is what we pay you for.

    October 26, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Daniel, NY

    The race-by-race situation, however, indicates that things look more than good for Democrats. Check out these recent detailed House rankings.

    October 26, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Ben

    Maybe if they'd stop passing political "non-binding" resolutions and actually worked on bills that would make a difference. They promised to end the war and all they do is pass more bills giving the war money. They promise children's health care but they pass a bill they know will get vetoed to throw a political dart at Bush. Why not pass something that will make a difference!? Maybe we were better off with the Republicans in charge....

    October 26, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    I'd like to see the results of a poll that rates the Democratic side of Congress vs the Republican side.

    October 26, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Jeff, Washtenaw, MI

    Too bad the Republicans keep obstructing every bill the Leadership tries to move. Bush vetoes, Senate Republicans filibuster. The R's nearly went "nuclear" about the occassional democratic filibuster of a court nominee, but they're blocking any bill on any of these important issues by the simple threat of a filibuster. That would be the core of why nothing is getting done.

    October 26, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. Neill C., Montgomery, Al

    I'm disappointed in them because they didn't try to impeach Bush. Because, if they had tried that, with absolutely no reason for it, it would be the deathknell of the Democratic party.

    October 26, 2007 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    Wow, 22%! That high? Amazing, congratulations on your tremendous success!

    October 26, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    The disapproval is mostly with the republican minority; approval of congressional democrats is at 43%. Better start working with your colleagues, republicans, or you're going to have another disastrous election.

    October 26, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. Antonio, Tempe AZ

    is this a surprise? the democrats were elected to put an end to all the quasi-legal shenanigans the president has been up to and they've basically knuckled under.

    October 26, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. RightyTighty

    "surveyed roughly 600 Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points"

    22 %
    – 4.5%
    --
    17.5%

    WORST EVER! Ha Ha!!

    October 26, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. RightyTighty

    "surveyed roughly 600 Americans and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points"

    Now, considering 50% of America doesn't vote and probably doesn't even know what Congress is..

    17.5%
    – 8.75%
    -–
    8.75%

    Ha Ha!!

    October 26, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Max Denver, CO

    Hmm – how many veto's did W make when the Congress was a majority of R's? How many now that the majority are D's?
    It's so sad that those of you that have made it clear you are Repubs have no conception of reality. One of you even had the gaul to state there is no reason for a move for impeachment. Head in the sand – pull yours out and look around.

    October 26, 2007 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. spinstopper

    Mike McCurry's "Get out the congressional accomplishments talking point" or corrupt polling technique?
    You decide..

    October 26, 2007 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. therealist

    75 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way Congress is handling its job!

    That's called a REAL story CNN...

    October 26, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Billy Boy, Ubetcha, AL

    "..the approval rating for all members of Congress sits at a dismal 22 percent, while 75 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the way Congress is handling its job." Bush's is even lower with Cheney's probably in negative digits. Ah, democracy. We need to fire the whole bunch of these incompetent panderers and bring in Jackie Broyles as Prez and Dunlap as VP!

    October 26, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. Kim, Peabody MA

    So Tell Me... IF the great majority of American have NO FAITH in the Government, which is made up of Democrats and Republicans - How in the world will WE benefit from electing either party leader to the Presidency ????

    We need an Independent Presidential Candidate that will restore FAITH in America!

    We need a Man like Pete Grasso:
    http://www.GrassoForPresident.com

    October 26, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  23. Maria, Houston

    You don't understand – they're just to busy!

    1.Most of Congressmen/women are genuinly concerned only with earmarks and pork projects to secure their own re-election.

    2.H.Reid is mainly concerned with getting Hillary elected (isn't his son working for her campaign?).

    3.Nancy Pelosi apparently fulfilled her political purpose by becoming The First Female Speaker, oh my... Now what?

    There are probably few disillusioned freshmen who found out that lack of committment and incompetence are bi-partisan and transgendered.

    Until new breed of politicians storm in, old cronies will continue doing business as usual. They have lots of "experience", don't they?

    October 26, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Karen,nj

    Is this really CNN? I have not gone on any blue things.

    October 26, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Micheal Whittier, Deposit, NY

    "Too bad the Republicans keep obstructing every bill the Leadership tries to move. Bush vetoes, Senate Republicans filibuster. The R's nearly went "nuclear" about the occassional democratic filibuster of a court nominee, but they're blocking any bill on any of these important issues by the simple threat of a filibuster. That would be the core of why nothing is getting done.

    Posted By Jeff, Washtenaw, MI : October 26, 2007 5:55 pm "

    Other than the veto comment, you can go back four years and substitute Democrat for Republican and D for R.

    Since the 2000 election the Democrats have always seems to have a problem. When they were the minority party – thay complained they couldn't anything they wanted done. The became the majority party this year – and they're still complaiing they can't get anything they wanted done. Maybe if Democrats would stop lionizing Republicans for every little thing, they might paly ball. As for the Republicans, they need to reach across the aisle more often.

    October 26, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
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