Poll: Congress' new level of awfulness
June 13th, 2013
10:55 AM ET
2 years ago

Poll: Congress' new level of awfulness

Washington (CNN) - Americans' confidence in Congress as an institution has hit an all-time low, according to a new national poll.

Asked about a list of institutions in American society, only 10% of those questioned in a Gallup survey released Thursday say they have confidence in Congress. That's down three percentage points from last year, and according to their release, "this is the lowest level of confidence Gallup has found, not only for Congress, but for any institution on record."

Congress ranks last on a list of 16 institutions. At the top of the list: The U.S. military. Seventy-six percent say they have confidence in the armed forces. The presidency ranked fifth, at 36%.

Gallup's been asking this question since 1973. Back then 42% said they had confidence in Congress, which was the legislative body's high point. Confidence in Congress has been below 20% since 2006.

The poll indicates little partisan divide.

"Democrats, independents, and Republicans are about equally likely to express low confidence in Congress. This is a change from the past and likely reflects the split control of Congress," says the Gallup release.

MORE: You're starting to remember Bush fondly

The Democrats control the Senate and the Republicans control the House of Representatives.

This low level of confidence is in-line with the most recent polling over the couple of months of the approval rating for Congress, which stood between 11% and 17% in the various surveys.

The Gallup poll was conducted June 1-4, with 1,529 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Polls
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Malory Archer

    aCriticalEye

    The cop and guard dog in the pic illustrate how worried the law makers are. Lets hire a couple more law enforcement officer to protect our sorry do nothing asses. The the civil war starts, they'll hire more guards to protect themselves.

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    In North Carolina they arrested approximately sixty protesters earlier this week – mostly elderly & members of the clergy who had the unmitigated gall to protest on 'Moral Monday' to call attention to Republican-backed policies that demonstrators are harmful to minorities and the poor. So much for free speech. Funny how CNN and the other so-called "librul" media is silent about that.

    June 13, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Marty, FL

    Boehner's incompetence is reprehensible, wasting taxpayer time and money on meaningless nonsense that has NO chance of passing.

    Boehner cannot control his tea extremism, even rejecting bills that used to be conservative ideas. Enough.

    Vote it out 2014.

    June 13, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Congress is the senate and the house. The senate is 55% democrats. The house is 46% democrats.

    June 13, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  4. Pete

    Just remember republicans those high numbers at 10% were done by a conservative leaning poll group in Gallop..They're the only ones that picked Romney to win the presidency so I wouldn't take anything they've said about republicans worth a grain of salt,more BS than fact much like your congressmen on Capital hill...

    June 13, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Congress is the senate and the house. The senate is 55% democrats. The house is 46% democrats.

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    What's your point?

    June 13, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Anthony

    Gallup gave Romney a 7-point lead with less than a month to go before the 2012 election. I suspect that the real rating of Congress is lower than what Gallup is reporting.

    June 13, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Congress is the senate and the house. The senate is 55% democrats. The house is 46% democrats.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What's your point?
    ---
    My point is that the lefties in here blame the republicans for the low numbers when it's just as much fault of the democrats... that wasn't overly complex for you, was it?

    June 13, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    This is a big part of the Repub. Playbook. Make ALL Govt. appear to be evil. Trust Corporate America, not Govt.

    June 13, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Ken in MO

    Who's fault is this? We are the ones that keep reelecting them. Most of Congress is relected every two years....we are telling them that we approve of what they are doing.
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    The plunge off of the proverbial polling cliff began when the Tea Party came to the House in 2011. Congress has been polling worse than stuff in a handbag. Apparently, Republican voters are cognizant of the poor polling. It seems most of them disapprove of Congress, yet they keep voting the obstructionists back in. Hmm. Makes you wonder.

    June 13, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Congress is the senate and the house. The senate is 55% democrats. The house is 46% democrats.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What's your point?
    -
    My point is that the lefties in here blame the republicans for the low numbers when it's just as much fault of the democrats... that wasn't overly complex for you, was it?

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    Hey, if that's what you choose to believe go for it!

    June 13, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Republicans rule Obama

    Marty, FL

    Boehner's incompetence is reprehensible, wasting taxpayer time and money on meaningless nonsense that has NO chance of passing.

    Boehner cannot control his tea extremism, even rejecting bills that used to be conservative ideas. Enough.

    Vote it out 2014.
    ___________________________
    Well now the same could be said about Reid and Feinstien, vote both of them out, them and their extreme liberal views.

    June 13, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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