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. Steveo

    Malory Archer

    Isn't Steveo cute? Funny how when the teabagger/rethuglibans can't defend the behavior of their lapdogs, they blame both parties! Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans know the real score.
    The real score is both parties (DEMS AND GOP) are to blame and even if your a partisan, the fact remains BOTH parties want the other to fail and in the process this country is failing! Hard to defend failure (BOTH PARTIES) bickering (BOTH PARTIES) and one upsmanship (BOTH PARTIES).

    October 21, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. quinLee

    Wanna know how to identify a low information poster. Just look for key words like: flag, union, acorn, community organizer, and Obummie. Interestingly, gun and birth certificate have faded. How many of these folks do you think make over $1mill. So whats really going on here?

    October 21, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. TEAliban/TEAhadists

    It's a do nothing TEApublican Congress that will all be given pink slips next November.

    October 21, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    If it wasn't for the Democrats in control (sort of) in the Senate, it would not be a "do-nothing Congress". It would be an "Undo Everything Congress"! Add to that Senate Minority Leader McConnell is doing everything he can to keep bills from even coming up for votes. You also gotta love the fact that when congress went on vacation in August, Speaker Boehner refused to acknowledge that the Senate was in Recess, only in "Adjournment" to prevent Recess appointments from taking place to fill all the sub-Cabinet Secretary level and non-judicial vacancies that McConnell keeps blocking.

    October 21, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Steveo

    Big Mac

    Want to end the do nothing congress?



    Limit the legislative sessions to 90 days each year.
    While I like that idea, ain't no way Congress is going to vote itself out aodf a career. The longer folks are in DC, the more they lose touch with the rest of us! We need frsh blood and fresh ideas!

    October 21, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. ST


    "I have to agree with Steveo – both parties are doing nothing at all".

    I disagree. Let us be fair here. One party is voting YES and another party is a HELL NO. This is not the same. Those to be punished are those who are not willing at all to let things move. How can anyone expect anything to be done if you are voting NO and blocking everything. These are the ones to punished and be voted out. They are not serious people and are not there for the job.

    October 21, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. ron johnson

    political leaders knw exactly what they are doing, trying to get the american people to revolt and issue in martial law and control the masses then destroy the economy and lead us into a one world govt. people please sto bickering and open your eyes prophecy being fulfilled right in our face and all anyone cares about are the reps and the dems and not their souls. wake up!!!

    October 21, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. the dogs of war

    Obama touts the need for cooperation but thats awful hard when hes in the process of cramming the 3rd bailout thru. i.m no republican but hes not giving either house a lot to work with. any time anything associated with a republican backing is brought to the senate its doa. its time for obama to stop campaigning and try a new train of thought. all he can take credit for so far is dividing this country as much as its ever been since the war for southern independance.

    October 21, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    some of the people posting here sound like they should be in Congress. "It's YOUR fault", "No it's YOUR fault" pointing fingers and getting nothing done. "I won't vote for your jobs bill since you won't vote for mine!!" This Congress has gotten worse since December 2010.....I wonder just why that is?

    October 21, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. SickOfThemAll

    We need to vote 100% of the Congress who are up for re-election out of office. Doesn't matter which party, their inability to work together and compromise to solve our problems show that none of them deserve their job. Vote Them All Out!!!!

    October 21, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Stacey

    @Lizzie, I suggest you better learn chinese and the Koran. I'm staying right here in America with President Obama. Can't wait until the KKK .. oops ... I mean the GOMP (Grand Old Mean Party) is voted out of Congress!

    October 21, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  12. Derrick

    I'd love for CNN to interview Republican congress members and ask them about this poll showing that people are blaming Republicans. I wonder what their response will be.

    October 21, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. ObamaCares

    @Howard, your boy Bush already has that claim to fame. You've been buswhacked and don't know it.
    Obama 2012!!!

    October 21, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Greg H

    Republicans are a bunch of retards focused on defeating Obama on 2012...They don't care about the american people.

    October 21, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    There should be a much larger blame difference than 10%. Average Americans need to look hard and realize that the vast majority of blame is owned by the GOBP. Sure, there have been a few Dem difficulties, but those amount to a drop in the bucket otherwise filled with the GOBP deathcult's propaganda, obstructionism and outright lies.

    October 21, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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