CNN Poll: Americans agree it's a 'do-nothing' Congress
October 21st, 2011
02:15 PM ET
11 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. Biggge

    Congress is a Outrage, why are they dragging their feet on the jobs bill...Oh I forgot it is Obama's fault again right...

    October 21, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    What a surprise. I mean, what a brain trust the GOP has pushed on us.....Bachmann, Duffy, Walsh, Cantor, Ryan. Can they do anything without burning through their cell minutes to the Koch Brothers? An absolute disgrace.

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

    And the good news is that the tea bag contigent will be voted out of office in 2012 and the Dems. will likely regain control.

    October 21, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Name king

    We are wasting precious time and precious opportunity with this congress. The repugs plans which is to sabotage our economy just to get one man to lose his job is pathetic. We could be rebuilding and modernizing our country, but we are stuck. When will these fools learn that we need t grow our economy, and the basic way of doing this is to strengthen demand. You don't build a house from the top down. You build it from it's foundation.

    October 21, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. ObamaCares

    They need to go, they're a worthless bunch of idiots, and their repukkkish so-called leaders are gutless. We're trying to be world leaders, what a hypocrisy.

    October 21, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. TomInRochNY

    CNN didn't need to do this survey. I could have told them that.

    October 21, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Lizzie

    Oh my g.... Democrats whining, they won't let us spend any money, we can't pay off the Unions and fundraisers, can't throw money out the window, spend 530 billion to keep Finnlands economy going, millions more so GE can move jobs to China. But hey we love Pres. Obama and the democrats, lets give them 4 more years so they can finish destroying the country. Better learn chinese and the Koran.

    October 21, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Terry, VA

    On the contrary my fellow Americans. Since the Repubs took the Congress THEY HAVE STOPPED this country from going bankrupt under Obummie and the dumbocrap rule for over 2 years. In this case grid lock is good because Obummie hasn't got a clue how to run a country economically. Some people succeed, some fail. Some are good looking, some aren't. Some are tall and others aren't. That is life so don't blame others for your sorriness, etc., etc. Don't expect others to carry you.

    October 21, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    The R-led House only work 2-1/2 days a week, one week out of three. Then they just say NO to the needs of us. I say we pay them by the hour.

    October 21, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. 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.

    October 21, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. PD.

    Eric Cantor just cancelled his speech in Philly today. Could it be that Eric and the rest of his Tea Bag caucus are getting a little worried about calling the OWS a group of 'Mobs'?

    October 21, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. DJ in Texas

    Both parties are a disgrace right now. They are more about scoring pilitical points than actually doing something. This is absolutely ridiculous. And we have Americans in foreign countries fighting for this??

    October 21, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. John

    GOP voted down a jobs bill again.....GOP are the do nothing party......

    October 21, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |

    Obama 2012!!!!

    October 21, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. CinSF

    Not going to happen Mitt. You flip-flop so much nobody knows what you stand for. Your are super rich and out-of-touch with average Americans.

    October 21, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. CinSF

    All the republican candidates are horrible. As an independent voter, I cannot vote for any of them.

    October 21, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |

    Thanks to the hobbits in 2010.

    October 21, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I'd MUCH rather they be doing nothing than driving this country straight into bankruptcy, which the Democrats seem very content to do. The American people removed the Democrats in record numbers in 2010 to STOP the spending madness and the destruction of our personal freedom with Obamacare. 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.

    October 21, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Rendrag

    They do nothing for the citizens because the whole government is in the pay of wall st. They seem to have no trouble keeping tax breaks for the rich, and continuing to deregulate.

    Wall St owns the Senate, the House, the Supreme Court, the Media and the President. Until you get that corporate money out of politics don't expect them to ever put normal citizens first.

    October 21, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Bessy

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 21, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Lizzie and Terry, VA:

    The truth, and the general public perception, is the GOP House caused the downgradng of our credit rating. Causing the country to come to screeching halt, and adding Billions to our interest payments because of the downgrade, was from no lack of trying from the WH. There was no payoff to the unions, so please stop with that myth. The goal of the GOP is NOT to move this country forward: it is to force a collapse of the government to such an extent that you can begin your dismantling. If that happens, watch your state and local taxes explode to a level that makes CA look like the Cayman Islands. All thanks to the GOP.

    October 21, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. Steveo

    What most of you are failing to realize is BOTH parties are do nothing! Nobody knows how to compromise any more and we have too many looking to take credit! The Dems did the same to Bush, lest we forget! The problem is there are a bunch in DC who seems to have forgotten about America and have focused more on party! BOTH sides are equally guilty!

    October 21, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. willard

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

    October 21, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. GI Joe

    Hey – I found one - they named a Post Office.

    October 21, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. Steveo


    Thanks to the hobbits in 2010
    AND in 2008! The list goes on and on!

    October 21, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
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