Poll: Disapproval of Congress at historic high
November 12th, 2013
05:11 PM ET
9 months ago

Poll: Disapproval of Congress at historic high

Washington (CNN) - If you thought American's approval of Congress had hit rock bottom weeks ago, you were wrong.

According to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday, only 9% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. It's the lowest congressional approval rating in the 39 years Gallup has asked the question.

"The government shutdown in October clearly didn't help Congress' image, and it appears that the impact of that incident may linger, given the record-low approval this month," Gallup CEO Frank Newport wrote. "This no doubt reflects the rancorous partisanship and bickering that characterized the shutdown - the top reasons given by those who disapprove of Congress."

Earlier this year, Americans indicated the two top reasons they disapproved of Congress was the incessant gridlock and partisan bickering, as well as the fact that the legislative body is "not getting anything done" and "not making decisions."

Although Congress' approval rating hit a new low on Tuesday, the fall was not that great.

Congressional approval has recently fluctuated from 13% in 2011 to 21% at the end of 2012, and then down to 11% just a few weeks ago.

The previous low for congressional approval, according to Gallup, was 10%–a number registered twice in 2012.

And despite the fact that last year's average 15% approval rating for Congress was the lowest yearly average Gallup has recorded, the polling agency said Tuesday that 2013 will likely break new ground – with an average 14% approval rating for Congress.

That would be the lowest yearly average Gallup has recorded.

"Having a divided Congress - with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate - means there are complaints among partisans on both sides, reflected in similarly low congressional approval ratings among Republicans and Democrats," Newport wrote.

Disdain for Washington is also bipartisan. Republicans give Congress a 9% approval rating, compared to 8% among independents and 10% among Democrats.

Gallup conducted its 1,039-person telephone poll from November 7-10. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.


Filed under: Congress • Polls
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    This is what the GOP/Teatrolls want and the MSM is helping them achieve it. "Gov't is broken...see, we broke it!"

    November 12, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  2. tom l

    CNN! Unbelievable! How can you report these numbers? How dare you do something like that! I believe those were the comments when Obama's numbers came out historically low so shouldn't y'all be saying the same thing now?

    I can't wait to hear all the comments from the lefties about how bad Congress' numbers are as if President Obama's numbers are so good. Classic.

    ECHO ECHO ECHO!!!!

    November 12, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  3. Tony

    Obama is a lucky guy. No matter how bad things are going for him, there are always Congress and Sarah Palin to remind people what the alternatives are.

    November 12, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    Maybe if they actually tried to do something to help the average American and stop trying to make President Obama a two term POTUS, just maybe they would have higher numbers.

    November 12, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "I can't wait to hear all the comments from the lefties about how bad Congress' numbers are as if President Obama's numbers are so good."

    I think most of us recognize it's not pretty for anyone. However, if you were to give people the choice of the numbers, the last one they'd want to have would be the GOP/Teatrolls in congress. ABYSMAL is about the only way to describe it. BTW, nice try again on the false equivalence manufacture (even psych studies show that it's the "conservative" brain that has the most trouble with the reality-denial response you're describing...President Romney will vouch for that).

    November 12, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Babyboomer

    The sad part of it is, if any of us regular worker bees had evaluations this low we be, oh let's just say it, FIRED... Unfortunately, there's no way to do a clean sweep but boy I wish there was... What a sad, sorry bunch...

    November 12, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Boomer in Mo

    All 537 elected members of our national government have low numbers. All must go. Power to the people.

    November 12, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. billobrienschindimple

    Tom I has the IQ of a wet cardboard box.

    November 12, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Woman In California

    I can't wait to hear all the comments from the lefties about how bad Congress' numbers are as if President Obama's numbers are so good. Classic.

    Well, tom l you don't have to wait any longer on my comment although I don't know what a "leftie" is. These numbers (as I've said many times before), mean absolutely nothing. Nothing. Unless and until people want to seriously improve the quality of their lives by voting for a congress which will actually work with the president by COMPROMISING, these numbers are just that numbers. No celebration here.

    November 12, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Well, GOP is doomed, gloom.

    November 12, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  11. Jonathon Powelly

    It doesn't matter. The majority of entrenched politicians will be reelected.

    November 12, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. O'drama ya Mama

    Sniffit

    This is what the GOP/Teatrolls want and the MSM is helping them achieve it. "Gov't is broken...see, we broke it!"
    November 12, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    I wish I could understand the people who vote for them. They prove the government is broken by breaking it themselves and paint everyone in Washington the wrong way but somehow trick their voters into thinking they are somehow different.

    November 12, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. O'drama ya Mama

    Every GOP/Tea bagger will now ignore the polls again because it doesnt say anything bad about Obama.

    November 12, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. MaryM

    Ha !! just a few weeks ago Gallup had the GOP at a 74% DISAPPROVAL RATING!!. GOPers , say thank you to your tea people for the lowest rating ever!!

    November 12, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    No matter what the GOP deludes it self in to thinking????? The fact is people haven't forgotten that the GOP teaparty led by Cruz , lee Rubio and king from Iowa LOST25billion dallars in 16 days!!!!! And all their obamacare bs won't save them from the hang mans noose at the polls in 2014!!!!!! At least the dems try to do something for the country while the GOP sits on the side lines and holds useless hearings, assa, and cost the taxpayers even more money!!!!!!

    November 12, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. kevin

    R.i.p GOP

    November 12, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. ClariTee

    Look at what congress has forced upon us. ObamaCare. Force the youngest into policies to support the people who are going to lie on the application process so they can get the subsidies. Think not?

    November 12, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    If you took your car to a mechanic and he opend the hood and started swinging a 12 lbs. sledge at the engine screaming, "It's broken, it's broken".
    Would you not maybe pick another mechanic?
    Think about that righties... think about that.

    November 12, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. bigdoglv

    Read these comments. "My guys are not as bad as your guys." When are you cheerleaders from both sides going to realize there is no one representing you in DC?

    November 12, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  20. Lets Make a Difference

    In the upcoming elections let's vote for everyone running against an incumbent. Do not let any of them go back to Washington. We cannot fire them but we can vote all of them out.

    November 12, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. Sheila

    wasn't it around 7% a week ago, or so ?

    November 12, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  22. Tom

    The ONLY way the GOP numbers would go up if is they actually HELPED make the ACA a better product....because fighting it doesn't seem to be helping them at all.

    November 12, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  23. Tom

    The Right says the ACA is not working.........not when 50% of the country is trying to destroy and sabotage it. This will only come back to bite them in the future if < God Forbid, they ever get back in power to help their rich friends even more.

    November 12, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. Tom

    GOP = Help the rich get richer, screw the poor, and forget the middle class......every man for himself.

    November 12, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Lawrence

    What does it matter regarding the polls. The Tea Party Republicans have the money, their jobs, sick smiles on their faces, back Sarah Pallin and really don't give a damn about anyone else. ACA, an attempt to help all Americans. Tea Party & most of the Republicans only care about themselves and not the USA. I only hope the Republicans that vote remember how their "leaders" did their best to shut down the USA and make us all look like fools.

    November 12, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
1 2 3