Poll: New low for Congress approval
December 15th, 2010
09:08 AM ET
7 years ago

Poll: New low for Congress approval

Washington (CNN) - Americans' approval of Congress has hit a new low, according to a new national survey.

A Gallup poll released Wednesday indicates that only 13 percent of the public gives Congress a thumbs up on the way its handling its job, with 83 percent saying they disapprove. The 13 percent approval rating is the worst Gallup has measured in the more than three decades it has been tracking public opinion of Congress, with the 83 percent an all time high for a disapproval rating.

A CBS News poll released earlier this month indicated that 17 percent of Americans approved of how Congress was doing its job, with more than seven in ten saying they disapprove.

According to the Gallup survey, only 16 percent of Democrats approve of how Congress is handling its duties, down from 38 percent in October. Thirteen percent of independents questioned and seven percent of Republicans give Congress a thumbs up.

The Gallup poll was conducted Dec. 10-12, with 1,019 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

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Check out CNN's new Polling Center, which provides the most comprehensive polling data covering national questions and the top 2010 election races of any news organization in the political landscape.

Filed under: Congress • Polls
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. GL

    Now that President Obama compromised with the Republicans the Dems are going crazy. This President can not win if his life depend on it.

    December 15, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  2. Willie12345

    If these clowns pass the Omnibus spending bill, they will find a new lowest in about two days. What a bunch of clowns.

    December 15, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. gt

    have hope america,,, the sun will shine again ,,, nit wit nancy and her goons will soon be out of power....

    December 15, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. stufit

    A ringing endorsement for Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Clyburn and all democrat liberals. The lowest job approval rating since the poll has been taken. Do you think these people will call us "astroturfs," "racists," "neanderthats" and other perjorative names in the future. You bet they will, the are democrat liberals, they don't know how to act and to them, hard working people who actually pay taxes are contemptible, which they made quite clear during the Health Care Reform fiasco.

    December 15, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. Name king

    Dems need to get on the ball moving America forward. You cant depend on the repugs, unless you are a lobbyist, they are all up into big corporate Cool aide. Big corporation won't hire because they are businesses, and that means share holders and profits. They are switching workers for computer system and robots, and the few workers they've got left that they didn't send to their third world companies abroad, they are consolidating them and laying more of them off to make more profit and putting trillions more on the side line. What is Obama thinking that he can get these profit hungry people to incest their money and he don't have customers to sustain them and make profits.

    December 15, 2010 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. james Miller

    When the lights are out, it`s hard to tell Rep from Dem. The "pigs" all line up at the same trough of tax payer $$$$. Pork isn`t pork when I get the money, only when someone else gets it.

    December 15, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  7. Tony in Maine

    I think this reflects a meme begun by Republicans when the Democrats controlled Congress back in the 70's and 80's. It became reduced to a bumper sticker, latched on to by the press and, along with teachers and assorted other civil servants, Congress became the cause of everything from tooth decay to the NY Yankees.

    December 15, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  8. A True Centrist

    Well, this is good news for the Republicans...it's doubtful they can do much worse than the nightmare Dem-controlled Congress.

    Of course, I never say never.

    December 15, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Haren

    Why don't they take separate poll for republicans and democrats congressman?
    They have to work up to 4 th january because one party used filibuster and try to act like majority party and did not allow senate to function.
    Let them miss christamas so that they will think again before usinfg fillibuster.

    December 15, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. Leon Childs

    What happened to all the deficit talk about passing debt to grandkids and future generations from the GOP. Now that they have tricked the American people into putting them back into power, it suddenly is not an issue. Since the taqx cut deal they held hostage will increase this deficit and how they are about to give more defense spending.

    December 15, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Ancient Texan

    Are there any SANE people in the congress? The voters slap them down with the news to stop spending just one month ago, and they come up with another Trillion Dollar Extravaganza. The shape the economy is in may not allow the luxury of surviving until 2012 and finishing the job of flushing the Congressional Bowl.

    December 15, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. sharecropper

    Good thing we ousted these clowns.

    December 15, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. rob


    I'm sure the past Congresses didn'r do much better including when the Republicans controlled it but this last 4 years with Nancy Pelosi as speaker have been an insult to the countries intelligence. To me, when Nancy Pelosi made the statement about the Health Care Bill they were debating, "We have to pass the bill so people can see whats in it" was all anyone needed to know about how the Dem leaders in Washington thought about the American people.

    The record of the last 4 years of Dem controll with unprecedented spending increases, secret back room deals, ULTRA PARTISAN treatment of legislation and corruption have led to the landslide victory for the Republicans in November. Because of alternate Media and the internet, the American people can bypass the Liberal Media and really be informed about what was happening. The message to the new Republican Congress and to President Obama going forward is : WE ARE WATCHING and we will vote you out if you don't do the right thing.

    December 15, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Impeach the supreme court RATS

    I wonder if polls are done on the Supreme Court or Federal judges. While the RATS (Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia) have violated their oath, the federal judge from VA (Bush appointee Hudson) is criminal. He is a republican activist, and accepted a $9000 donation from VA Att. General Coochie Coocinelli, who brought the suit against health reform. His ruling for the ATT. Gen. has violated the constitution and legal ethics. Just when we thought we were over the republican party of corruption, the putrid stench is back.

    December 15, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. kyle from ohio

    This is the real story of the last 2 to 8 years in our country; President Bush and Obama both have had to deal with a congress that is broken mainly the Senate and this Fil-a-buster approach to governing. This country is neither conservative or liberal but more of a centrist by nature. 20% far right; 20% far left ; 20% split in half on right or left; and finally 40% neither right or left. The real message is congress mainly the Senate need to understand there is no American mandate for a party but a mandate for them to get the work of the people done!!!!!

    December 15, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. bill

    It might be because this Congress has spent all it's time and energy trying to make Illegal Aliens Citizens and reward them for their crimes and screw AMERICAN !

    December 15, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Orlando Patriot

    The current Congress "just doesn't get it". The newly elected individuals to Congress need to walk the straight and narrow. Any deviation from what the election in November told them will surely kick their butts out in the next election. The CURRENT individuals in Congress BETTER start listening to WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT or they will be out even quicker. Remember: YOU WORK FOR US!! WE DO NOT WORK FOR YOU!!

    December 15, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. NVa Native

    Of course Congress is loathed – when 43% are lazy selfish bums who refuse to do the job they took a sacred oath to do, and the only thing they do offer is childish fear and failure.
    While in the Senate the Repubs only contribution (this year alone) is 84 fillabusters!
    All in the desire of the failure of the US Presidency so they can get back into our White House in 2012 and continue their destruction of the US. Ten years ago there might have been 4 fillabusters in a years time. On top of that disgrace the Repubs want you to think some how they are the victim??Of course the propoganda machine that is fox media manipulates the simple-minded followers into beliving this lie – along with all the other lies the fox celebrities blurt out.

    December 15, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. PalmReader

    83% don't approve of Congress, yet Congressional members are jumping from one media outlet to another congratulating themselves with job well done, pat on the back statements of election mandates proving what the people want, and why. Worse yet ... 60% decided to sit this election out regardless.

    December 15, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If there would be more compromise between the more moderate people, that would help things. I have to say that the GOP has too much control over its members and forces them to maintain the party line too much.

    December 15, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. thatguy371

    If the repooplicans would get off this 2 year absolute gridlock stretch, maybe SOMETHING, ANYTHING could get accomplished... but I doubt those whiny little babies will ever budge. Pathetic.

    December 15, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  22. George

    I thought the Tea Party kissing Republicans were supposed to be the answer to restoring confidence in Congress. How's that going, huh? I know they don't take the majority until January, but they have had a big impact on how Congress has proceeded since the election and gridlocked partisanship is just getting worse, not better. Maybe the emotional Boehner can reduce himself to tears once again and touch a few heart strings to save its reputation, but I doubt it. The problem, which NO one is admitting, is that Americans just enjoy disapproving of government. It doesn't matter which party is in power. They just like to complain, blame everyone else for their misery and use Congress as their favorite punching bag. Keep it up, America. That kind of attiutude will only get you an amateur in the White House in '12....like Huckabee or Pawlenty or Romney or...worse.

    December 15, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Joe

    Congress should take careful note of this disapproval. Our system (and thus our safety as a Democracy) depends on three healthy functioning branches of government. What happens if people become so disgusted with Congress that they are willing to let the powers of congress be absorbed by the Presidency in some future time of crisis?

    December 15, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Liz the First

    Congress is broken and the republican'ts broke it! if we want to cut the deficit, how about not paying the people who are refusing to do the jobs we elected them to do? the filibuster used to be a rare event, now it's SOP for the repubs to stop any legislation they don't like, which is anything the Dems and Obama want to do to benefit the American people. throw the bums out!!!!!!!!!! not all of them, just the obstructionist hostage-taking repugs.

    December 15, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    It si going to continue to drop, as they pass Obama's squandering tax cut bill, for sure.

    December 15, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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