CNN Poll: Americans agree it's a 'do-nothing' Congress
October 21st, 2011
02:15 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans agree it's a 'do-nothing' Congress

(CNN) - Nearly seven in ten Americans think Congress has done nothing to address the problems facing America, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Friday.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents appear to agree with critics who say the current House and Senate are a "do-nothing Congress," while only 28% said Congress has helped the country this year. Former President Harry Truman helped coin the "do-nothing" phrase during his reelection fight in 1948.

See full results (PDF)

The current negative perception of Congress was widespread, with a majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents holding the view, along with all major demographic groups.

Although both parties shouldered the blame for Congressional inaction, the Republican Party was seen as more responsible than the Democratic Party among those who singled out one party in the survey. Twenty-eight percent blamed the GOP for their frustration, while 18% blamed the Democrats. Another 18% said Congress has done nothing and pointed the finger at both parties.

The poll interviewed 1,007 adult Americans via telephoned between Oct. 14 and Oct. 16. The survey's sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Congress • Democrats • Polls • Republicans
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. james Miller

    Lizzie !!!! Where have you been the last 10 yrs???? We went from a surplus budget in 2000 to a budgetary nightmare under Bush ( Republican) Two UNFUNDED wars AND tax CUTS at the same time !!!! --Blank checks were being written by Congress everyday and no Republican dared question Chenney or Bush................ That`s how we got here.

    October 21, 2011 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. ST

    These "NO" voters are always claiming they want their country back while now they are taking it down. Where will you get it then? Hide your faces full of shame!

    October 21, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Don't expect others to carry you."

    Nobody is asking to be carried, moron. They are demanding that they stop getting stepped on. Ignore it and downplay it and pretend it's something it's not at your own peril.

    October 21, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  4. AZ Dem

    Any time party leaders in the Congress say there number 1 goal is to make the current president a 1 termer you know they don't have EVERY American's best interest at heart. At the end of the day they want Obama out I think the public is realizing that and regardless of the majority the Democrats had the GOP has made 60 votes in the Senate standard instead of simple majorities...all I'll say is look at who is truly representing your needs and interests and who isnt

    October 21, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    As it has been stated many times before – everything was moving along fine UNTIL 2010 when republicans came back on the scene. It is my hope people have FINALLY realized they want nothing – nothing but the destruction of our president even if we ALL go done with him. That is NOT American it is insanity.

    Even though I did not vote for Bush the first time and I sat out the elections the second time, I still wanted him to SUCCEED because that meant I too, would succeed. Apparently, they can't bring themselves to say the same.

    One thing is for sure republicans will do ANYTHING to keep America on welfare until they can creep back into office and I hope we stand up in 2012 and say "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore".

    October 21, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "Where have you been the last 10 yrs???? "

    Sorry, but to be fair, she was born yesterday.

    October 21, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    The solutions to this country's problems do not lie in the elimination of our personal freedoms in order to create a larger more onerous federal government.
    --------------–

    oh, so abortion and gay marriage are OK with you since they are personal freedoms and a "larger more onerous..." is bad? Get a grip. And those "trilliions (most of which goes to their union supporters)" include the poice, firefighters, teachers and other groups that you need you twit

    October 21, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  8. Woman In California

    Sorry, I mean even if we ALL go down.

    October 21, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Canuck

    How many will still vote Republican because that's what they've always done???

    October 21, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. tee66

    99%er

    Sen. Mitch McConnell – " Our number 1 goal is to get Obama out of office"....... They have been throwing this country "under the bus" in an attempt to return to a Republican Pres., Senate and House of Reps. they enjoyed under Bush. - Bush started two UNFUNDED wars, LOWERED taxes failed to monitor Wall Street and drove this country to the very brink of another Great Depression. Great post you hit it right out of the park thank you. No one is holding Mitch McConnell accountable.

    October 21, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "Acorn are keep out of it cause acorn people are keep cheat vote for presdient obama"

    Akorn are anymore exist don't

    October 21, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Lizzie

    Ph, get a grip if they really would be against wallstreet and corp. then they would give up gladly their I-Phones and I-Pods or at least share them with the rest of the protesters and not complain that some off them just take them, Is that called redistribution???????

    October 21, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Howard

    American's also agree ... obama is the worst President in the history of the United States !!!

    SAVE AMERICA ... DUMP obama and biden in 2012 !!!

    October 21, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    somebody wrote:
    The solution to this countries problems can NOT be found in spending and borrowing endless trillions of dollars as the Democrats want to do. (most of which goes to their union supporters) The solutions to this country's problems do not lie in the elimination of our personal freedoms in order to create a larger more onerous federal government.
    ------------------
    The alternative solution is tax cutting and borrowing endless trillions of dollars as the Republicans want to do (most of which goes their rich and wealthy supporters) The solution to this country's problems do not lie in the elimination of our personal freedoms, but in the creation of a government-run autonomous plutocracy overseen by imperialist overlords.

    October 21, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Al-NY,NY

    willard

    Acorn are keep out of it cause acorn people are keep cheat vote for presdient obama
    Kick out presdient obama 2012
    ------------------

    welcome to the world of GOP commentary!!! wow

    October 21, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. SecedingfromTexas

    @PD: Wow, didn't know Cantor cancelled his speech. I was really looking forward to his tap-dance.

    October 21, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Lizzie

    James, Clinton balanced the budget because of a republican senate, Clinton dismantled the intelligence agency (we won't need them), Bush had to deal with the fallout from those decisions, democrats became the party of NO, NO, NO, then they took over and money was no object, more for everyone spend, spend, spend and they are still spending, crying like little kids when someone tells them there is no more.

    October 21, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    Isn't Steveo cute? Funny how when the teabagger/rethuglibans can't defend the behavior of their lapdogs, they blame both parties! Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans know the real score.

    October 21, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Big Mac

    Want to end the do nothing congress?

    TERM LIMITS

    SENATE 12 YEARS
    HOUSE 8 YEARS

    Limit the legislative sessions to 90 days each year.

    October 21, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. pmd

    I have to agree with Steveo – both parties are doing nothing at all. It is a finger pointing game and name calling game and nothing is getting done. Only thing happening consistantly is that the middle class is supporting the nation and the government is sitting on theirs butts doing nothing. It is embarrassing. The one thing we can do is elect not just a new President – if we so choose – but also elect a new congress and senate. Don't forget we gave them their jobs we can also take them away

    October 21, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Ed DFWTX

    I think America has had enough of the do nothing GOP/Tea Bagging Congress. Come next year there are going to be a whole lot more people out to vote which tends to favor Dems. The biggest reason government is broken is because of ill-informed voters who often make the wrong choices like voting for big business, GOP candidates. It is ill-informed voters who vote against their economic best interests. If you make less than 250K a year there is no reason to vote for the GOP period!

    October 21, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. k dogg

    The teapublicans defict hawks think that by spending money on obama job bill will put a feather in his hat or shore up the economy like his foreign policy acheivements but oh I forgot that jobs bill would be spending their kids and grand kids money. O lord give me a break (whatever)

    October 21, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Les Blain

    Any Senator, congressman, political pundit who agrees with anything Obama does or says is viewed as a traitor to the Republican Party, we aren't going to see any moderation of word or deed in the face of such intimidation.

    October 21, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. ss

    Lizzie your a MORON , should go live with Plain

    October 21, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. ja

    American citizens need to withhold pay and benifits (pensions and medical) from congress, they more like rock stars getting money for nothing and chicks for free, lets end the days of blowing smoke up our ##$%

    October 21, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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