Poll: Fewer Americans approve of how Congress is doing
March 11th, 2011
12:50 PM ET
11 years ago

Poll: Fewer Americans approve of how Congress is doing

(CNN) - Less than two in ten Americans approve of how Congress is handling its responsibilities, according to a new Gallup survey released Friday. This is a marked drop from just two months ago when Congress enjoyed an upswing in poll numbers following a frenetic lame duck session.

Approval numbers for Congress peaked in January, following mid-term elections, the passage of tax cuts, the START treaty, and a change in party majority in the House of Representatives.

And though the approval numbers for the House and Senate initially increased by 10 percentage points between December of last year and this February, those numbers have now fallen five points from 23 percent to 18 percent on Friday.

This is similar to the past two times there was a change in party control during 1995 and 2007, when the third month of a new Congress also brought plummeting approval numbers.

There's no difference between political parties when it comes to how adults view Congress' performance since two in ten Democrats say they approve of how Congress is doing and the same number of Republicans feel the same. Only fifteen percent of independents say they approve of Congress' performance.

The Gallup poll was conducted via telephone among 1,021 adults from March 3-6. The survey has a sampling error of plus-or-minus four percentage points.

Filed under: Polls
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. drc

    What is amazing, is that less than 20% approve of Congress the sheep will keep voting in these corrupt career politicians! It is time to vote out incumbents regularly until the House is Clean and the swamp is drained of career politicians who all think they are doing us a favor with their 'experience'. It is not experience they have but instead, corruption and greed.

    March 11, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Peter

    2 in 10 approve of how Congress is doing... One of the 2 is a person making over $250 a year and so is grateful for getting the Bush tax cut extension. The other one is someone who is uneducated and probably doesn't even know what the U.S. congress is.

    March 11, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Average American

    They ran on jobs, but instead they are set on defunding public broadcasting, head start, and (how timely) tsunami relief funds! And don't even get me started on the Muslim witch hunt trials. GO Keith Ellison!

    March 11, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    It is reaching critical mass, now isn't it?

    March 11, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. starmanres

    Oh Really? Where were these articles when Nancy Pelosi ran the show Liberal CNN? We all know that it's the Party of NO (Democrats) that are blocking the things we elected the Republicans to do from getting through in Congress. We can't wait to finish the job by firing all Democrats next election along with Obama and his Czars.

    March 11, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Chipster

    Frankly, I'm not too impressed with the job the American PEOPLE are doing! They whine about everything, demand spending cuts and then list all the services they either want to continue or want to increase! I'm sorry, folks, but we clearly need to invest more in education because none of you can do simple MATH!

    Farm subsidies, college tuition, highway projects, R&D, prisons, food & drug inspectors, emergency disaster relief, disease control -- these things cost money. That's why we pay taxes. It's simple math. You don't want to pay taxes, then give up the services and shut up!

    March 11, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. FM

    People have to send these congressmen/women where they pulled them from. I think next time we vote for someone to be sent to the House must pass the test. Get interviewed, make a promise and agree if she/he does not abide to what they promised to, must get pulled out!

    March 11, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. S. In California

    The numbers will SINK EVEN LOWER by election day. It's true a sucker is born every minute.

    March 11, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Gene

    Just how blind is this one-term president? Already refined oil, eg.-gas, went up in prices 1 day after the unrest in Northern Africa started. This was gasoline refined a month before and already at the pumps. I mean we know he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but really?

    March 11, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Palin is an IDIOT

    Oh, and I thought that with the GOP-Tea Party lemmings coming into power and taking over the house....Americans will just start falling all over themselves to approve this stinking Congress, NOT!!!!

    For the last 2months the GOP-Tea Party was a NO-SHOW in creating a single JOB since crybaby-give-me-a-tissue Boehner was sworn-in as speaker of the house....instead they have succeeded in attacking the middle-class and taking away public sector jobs from teachers and fire fighters, attacking women's rights to choose, attacking people's faith, talking about guns and religion and everything in-between EXCEPT....JOBs JOBs JOBs that they campained on!

    Good Job crybaby Boehner and your teabbagging lemmings, because you guys suck more than Pelosi...and that is what Americans want, NOT!!!!!

    March 11, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. fayse

    President Obama is the only one that has been talking and trying to do something about job creation. The GOP are proving that they have real solutions. Their inaction speaks volumes every thing that they are proposing will cost thousands of jobs; In the words of John Boehner "so be it". People stayed home or voted out of anger and in doing so, they became their own worst enemy. The House has been so busy squabbling and just trying to think of new ways to discredit the President by any means possible that none of them are concerned about the welfare of the People.

    March 11, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. brad

    That's what happens when you don't do what you say. Absolutely no agenda regarding JOBs. None. Only to dismantle the previous 2 years. Waste of time. Sick of this whining. Party First. Now that the Republican have the house they are still saying NO still. Maybe this is for the best because it will wake up people by the time 2012 comes around.

    March 11, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Palin: Like Coulter ... Minus the Manparts

    Well then, that just kind of shoots down the Tea Party and right-wing nutjob talking point of how much everyone "likes" the direction of their radical agenda, doesn't it? Shhh ... do not let this little secret out, otherwise they'll be exposed for the phony hypocrites they are and always will be.

    March 11, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Steve, New York City

    . . .and this is a surprise because???? We went from (knot-head) Pelosi, to (do nothing but complain) Boehner. Not sure who is worse. On top of that, we have Lieberman and McCain just itching for their next photo-op with the AIPAC – talking up their stupidity about miiltary intervention in Libya (on top of Iraq and Afghanistan)??? Congress is totally delusional.

    March 11, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. geecee

    No kidding! And they thought the Republican sweep in the mid-terms was going to "fix" all our problems. Surprise, surprise. I have to be honest though and blame the democratic voters for not coming out last November – and this is the result. You got a bunch of angry, hateful people who want to destroy democratic values and everything we stand for and they came out in force in the mid-terms but the Dems. just sat back and didn't get off their butts to bother to vote. This is what happens! We get no where.

    March 11, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. jim

    our government sucks !!! SCREW THEM ALL!

    March 11, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. ProperVillain

    That's because Congress is full of a bunch of buffoons who have sold themselves to their special interest financiers by consistently ignoring the will of the people. If you need evidence of this look at the lame health care bill that was passed last year. Rates for everyone are going up, it may be a crime not to have insurance, and businesses that don't get penalized.
    Hmmmmm...now who does that benefit? Oh yes, the insurance companies! Congress is nothing more that a bunch of power and money hungry miscreets.

    March 11, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |

    PEOPLE, They are coming for you too, and when they fininsh, the President will be blamed. The extreme Right and the extreme left; You must go! A new America is being born out of the total frustration of your lack of cooperation. In this new America there will be a table in the middle where we all meet and work TOGETHER .You fools do nothing for our country but bring us down, keep us fighting amonst ourselves. You all must GO!! L8TR

    March 11, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Tony

    Sad to say but I expect their approval to continue to drop.

    March 11, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Professor X

    Having the republicans in charge of congress is like a rerun of a show I didn't like in the first place.

    March 11, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Where are the jobs? This is what happens when you elect people to Congress who show up to a battle of wits unarmed. The GOP is making this so easy.

    March 11, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    It is really amazing to me that 18% of Americans approve of Congress. They are probably the ones who never watch/read the news.

    My approval of Congress would rise (slightly) if they were to cut their salaries to 2006 levels. But they would have to get to work on real problems to continue earning a higher rating. Repugs won't compromise. They wouldn't compromise on tax cuts last fall and gutless dems (including Pres. Obama) caved without much fight. Now Boner and mcconnell seem unwilling to compromise on cutting services to our most needy, including students and the elderly. Subsidies for big business and big oil, cuts for students and the elderly.

    March 11, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. oldsaxman

    Good news. Democrats and Republicans agree on some thing. Bad news is that there right in what they agree on. HEY CONGRESS,DO SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE. THAT'S AN ORDER.

    March 11, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. David from WI

    Chalk this up for the Republicans.

    March 11, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Weeper of the House: Two and the Door

    Buyers' remorse!! 2012 is going to be incredible. GOP/TeaPee on their way to becoming extinct.

    March 11, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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