Poll: Majority of Americans feel their representative is part of the problem
August 5th, 2014
09:14 AM ET
4 months ago

Poll: Majority of Americans feel their representative is part of the problem

Washington (CNN) - Note to Congress: Your constituents are turning on you.

For the first time, a majority of Americans said they disapproved of their representative and thought they were part of the problem in Washington, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll out Tuesday. The poll found that 51% of Americans disapprove of the way their own member of Congress is handling his or her job, while 41% approve.

For decades, most Americans approved of the way their member of Congress was handling his or her job, but disapproved of the legislative body as a whole.

The idea: Congress is broken, but my representative isn't part of the problem.

A 2013 Gallup poll that found despite only 16% of Americans approving of the job Congress was doing, 46% of Americans approved of their representative's job performance.

That sentiment has long helped incumbents stay in office despite record low approval ratings for Congress. In 2012, for example, 90% of House incumbents were reelected despite congressional approval ratings falling to 10% that year, according to Gallup.

But Tuesday's numbers – and other recent polls – show that sentiment is changing.

A Pew poll from earlier this year found that 40% approved of their own member of Congress, while 47% disapproved. And in 2013, a similar Pew poll found that 38% wanted their own representative to lose his or her job in the 2014 elections.

And in June 2014, a NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll found that 57% of registered voters did not think their congressperson deserves reelection. Thirty-two percent said their member deserved reelection.

- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Keating Holland contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Congress • Polls
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. salty dog

    I missed the bush on bush story, I stand by the statement, the best part of w was soaked up by daddy's socks, too bad, the sock had more integrity, and would have been a better president.

    August 5, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein

    We need to have less money involved in politics and more people voting. If there were some way to get the local and county election boards to let the IRS know if you voted (not who you voted for) so that you could get a credit. The flip of that would be better that if you don't vote, you pay more taxes.

    August 5, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    vikingwoman

    Yep, my reps are John Cornyn & Ted Cruz!
    ----------
    You just can't make this stuff up. smh

    August 5, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. Boo

    If this headline is true, then why do people keep voting for these same parasites?

    August 5, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. DRJJ

    The minority runs this country now-haven't you heard? It's called the progressive approach to government! Turn on the news for the results and we deserve it!

    August 5, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Boomer in Mo

    Voted AGAINST my congressman at 7:30 this morning. Feel really good about it. He has always been in the pocket of banks, even when he was a state rep.

    August 5, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Haha...and polls show that only 37% can name their governor (only goes up to 60% if you provide it in multiple choice format with the governor's name listed), 51% of 'Merkins can't name even one of their Senators and only 25% can name both. Figures are similar for US Representatives in the House. State representation? Only 20% can name theirs. Even worse: among people who can name a representative, only 15% get it right when asked to identify 2 issues that politician stands for. As for what party their representative belongs to, 68% respond that they don't know or aren't sure.

    So yeah, mad as hell, but they don't know who they're mad at or why. Which leads me to the following conclusion: Yawn.

    August 5, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Dumbas[R]ocks

    I just luv listening to Sniffet beat an empty-headed "moran" like a drum.

    August 5, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I stand by the statement, the best part of w was soaked up by daddy's socks, too bad, the sock had more integrity, and would have been a better president
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Oh snap!!
    ******************************
    Dumbas[R]ocks

    I just luv listening to Sniffet beat an empty-headed "moran" like a drum
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Co-signed.
    That never gets old.

    August 5, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    vikingwoman

    Yep, my reps are John Cornyn & Ted Cruz!
    ----
    You just can't make this stuff up. smh
    ============================================
    Well, shake it a little harder. You just might shake some sense into it. Don't forget to dump any ashes that come out.

    August 5, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    "president who's always off on a campaign events "

    Please, someone explain to me how the President is always campaigning, yet no Dems want to associate themselves with him?
    Please, someone explain to me how the President is a Dictator, or wants to be King. but he is also leading from behind and doesn't have clue what he is doing?
    Please, someone explain to me how the President gets criticized for his attending the same Christian Church for 15 years (Jermiah Wright), but he is a Muslim.
    Please, someone explain to me how the President can bend over backwards for Congress, like he did on immigration and the ACA (150+ republicant amendments accepted into the ACA- but not one vote in return) but is still the most divisive President ever.
    Please, someone explain to me how gun rights which have expanded under President Obama, but he is still going to take away your guns... any minute. (How can he.... Bill Clinton did this-- only he didn't. Same old rubbish).
    Please, someone explain to me how the President cannot be President because he was born in Hawaii to an American mother, yet ted cruz who was not born in this country and whose foreign father betrayed the communists with whom he was fighting for and was on the lamb from can be welcomed into this country and even have his son aspire to the highest levels of leadership... by fighting tooth and nail against this country welcoming people in?

    Life would be tough for me in the bubble....

    August 5, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Of course drjj, let's just go back to the good ol' days when presidents were anointed by a stacked [R] supreme court.

    Yes, our lives were so much better then, weren't they:
    – two recessions, one being so close to the hell of depression that Lucifer's intestinal gas could be smelled
    – two attacks on our homeland
    – one war of choice that killed many more Americans than died on 9-11
    – our CIA operatives outed
    – banks and wall street running amok, at will
    – budget surpluses turned into budget deficits
    – unprecedented growth of the federal government
    – conscious support of out-of-control partisanship, obvious party-first/country-second ideology celebrated

    Why yes drjj, let's go back to those good ol' days, when [R]s could rape this country blind while the slackjawed [R] supporters who voted them in, cheered America's demise. What a senseless but proud little rightwing cricket you are, drjj.

    August 5, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    vikingwoman

    Yep, my reps are John Cornyn & Ted Cruz!
    --
    You just can't make this stuff up. smh
    ============================================
    Well, shake it a little harder. You just might shake some sense into it. Don't forget to dump any ashes that come out.
    ---------
    Nice ad hominem for no reason... well done, Skippy.

    When people think their rep is 2 senators, you then understand how the same cast of morons gets re-elected.

    August 5, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair posted:

    Well, shake it a little harder. You just might shake some sense into it. Don't forget to dump any ashes that come out.
    ---
    Nice ad hominem for no reason... well done, Skippy.

    When people think their rep is 2 senators, you then understand how the same cast of morons gets re-elected.
    ====================================================================
    Don't dish it out if you can't take it. You gotta admit, though, it was funny. It's too bad yours are meant to be offensive.

    August 5, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. excuse my rant

    "Always, always, always making excuses, spewing lies and denying reality. It is the lefty way. You know how elections work. The fact is most of our country's districts are not leftist Democrat friendly. Winning only urban areas makes the Democrats not very representative of the entire country."
    ______________________________________________
    According to the 2010 US Census, 80.7% of the US population lives in urban settings. So please explain to the class how urban areas are not very representative of the entire country?

    August 5, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Len

    That is what happens when moderates, progressives, democrats, and independents decided not to vote in 2010 mid-term elections. The 30% of ultra conservatives voted and they won. Only 37% of registered voters voted in 2010. If you do not vote that is what happens, you elect people who have un-American opinions.
    VOTE in the 2014 midterms or we will have more crazies in Congress and the Senate!!!!!! VOTE!

    August 5, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Tom l

    To all the people that blame the dems or all the people that blame the repubs, you do realize that you also support a party that shares in this incessant need for for you to place blame and unquestionably share, at least in part, to this culpability???

    August 5, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    I'm from Maryland a blue state. The scary ones are the gerrymandered for life teaklans. Term limits is the answer.

    August 5, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. MaryM

    it must be said respone to MaryM:
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Talk about DELUSIONAL!!! The same lunatic Nancy Pelosi that jammed Obamacare down our throats without a single Republican vote and told us they had to pass it before we could see what was in it? THAT "compromising" Pelosi??? The one that was then thrown out of the speakership by the American people as a ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    To it must be said:
    You poor ignorant simpleton, Do you really believe you and your ILK will continue to hold the American people hostage but threatening to Default on Americas debt or Shut down the government and Cost American taxpayer Billions of Dollars, No, you extremist TPer are done. And get a life !!

    August 5, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Tom l

    To all the people that blame the dems or all the people that blame the repubs, you do realize that you also support a party that shares in this incessant need for for you to place blame and unquestionably share, at least in part, to this culpability???
    ---------------------------
    Hypocrite. Don't you remember how many times that you made posts blaming *both* Democrats and Republicans?

    August 5, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. Boomer in Mo

    By the way, I know my congressman well and both of MO senators too. I make sure they know me. I'm a very squeaky wheel. Clare McCaskill has heard from me and talked to me so much that she calls me by my first name.

    August 5, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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