CNN Poll: Congressional approval hits all-time low
January 16th, 2012
07:00 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Congressional approval hits all-time low

Washington (CNN) - Only 11% of Americans approve of how Congress is handling its job, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Monday.

That's a new record for this measure on a CNN survey; the previous all-time low approval rating for Congress was 14%, set in August, at the very end of the debt ceiling debate which resulted in an unpopular agreement between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill. The poll indicates that 86% say they disapprove of how Congress is handling its duties.

See full results (pdf)

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"Republicans and Democrats can't agree on much, but they both agree that Congress is doing a lousy job," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Approval of Congress is just 10% among Republicans, and only 16% among Democrats. Nine percent of independents have a positive view of Congress."

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from January 11-12, with 1,021 adult Americans, including 928 registered voters, questioned by telephone on January 11-12, 2012. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Polls
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Larry in Houston

    CNN – are you sure this number isn't inflated ?? 11% sounds sort of a bit high, don't you think ? I haven't heard a good word, yet.

    January 16, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    If it's plus or minus 3%, I'd vote that it's closer to 8%.

    January 16, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Debra From Georgia

    I think you got it wrong, This do nothing congress no way got 11% from the american people. This is the most lazy congress in american history.

    January 16, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Clyde

    And yet most of these unhappy people will continue to support THEIR members of congress. No matter how bad congress is, its always "the other guy."

    January 16, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. Birther Movement - Make Romney Show His Birth Certificate

    They keep fighting against laws that could help us.
    They keep being a do-nothing Congress because of the GOPers trying to destroy us from inside.

    January 16, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. Chipster

    That 11% must be the most uninformed people in the country. This Congress has done absolutely nothing! Zero! Nada! Zip! They should be forced to return their paychecks, health benefits and pension for simply being worse than useless. Those who voted for them should lose their citizenship! I suppose their family members, or at least some of them, might have claimed to approved but they're lying. The only thing they've achieved is preventing anyone else from doing anything to move the nation forward. With all the unemployed people, struggling businesses, etc. how dare they obstruct every effort and offer nothing of value, not one serious solution! How DARE they! Sometime I'll tell you how I really feel about it !

    January 16, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Biotechdev

    Of course their approval is low, The media keeps focusing on bills that the GOP doesn't vote for – like the ONE jobs bill Obama proposed. But it has been ignoring the 15+ jobs, budgets and deficit-reduction bills that the GOP House has passed that Obama and Harry Reid won't even allow to come to the Senate floor for debate. The American people voted the Dems out of control of the House in 2010 precisely to stop Obama from jamming his legislative agenda down our throats. But the media doesn't report much on that. If Congress doesn't give Obama what he wants, the media pushes the idea of the do-nothing Congress. Actually – they are doing something – representing the people who voted them into office. Something the Dems didn't think was important or their constituents wouldn't have voted them out in 2010

    January 16, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. jilli

    How do you like the tea partiers now?

    The new republican congress is everything I thought they'd be – incompetent. They're only good at preventing progress, not creating it. Have they passed any constructive legislation? No, they're too busy legislating abortion!

    Perhaps now, the American electorate will learn to vote with their heads and not their emotions – emotions manufactured by lobbyists with pretty painted buses.

    January 16, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. Max.

    WE MUST vote to get CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS out this time around. They are essentially OBSTRUCTIONISTS.

    January 16, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Biotechdev

    The GOP is trying to represent the people who voted them into office. The Dems don't respect the wishes of the people who elected them – that is why their constituents voted them out of office in 2010 after they voted for the healthcare bill. So far, the GOP has voted against the ONE jobs bill that Obama proposed. Obama amd Harry Reid won't even allow the 15+ GOP jobs bills that passed the House to come to debate on the floor of the Senate. The big proble here is a President who does NOTHING to sit down at the table and facilitate an open debate.

    January 16, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. JGeodina

    Is it any wonder. Not one of the slugs care for the American public. All they care about is lining their own pockets.

    January 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Biotechdev

    To Max – let's see. The GOP didn't like the one jobs bill Obama came up with. Obama hasn't allowed any of the 15 jobs bills the GOP came up with in the House to make it to debate in the Senate. Who are the obstructionists?

    January 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Texas Coyote

    If anyone asks yet again, why the OCCUPIERS all over the United States are protesting. Listen up!
    “You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants... to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic human rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living(while lowering our wages). You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit...we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY!

    January 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. flex

    I think 11% is high, given the very poor performance from all parties, and it's not getting better folks.............5% is more like it.

    January 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. brooder125

    Could someone please tell me who the 11% are. I am yet to meet ONE. And yes, the United States of Sheep will reelect them. I think that could be a bigger mystery.

    January 16, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. manbearpig

    Pretty soon the 1% is going to be referring to the people who actually approve of congress

    January 16, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Texas Coyote

    Get money out of politics (IE. publicly financed elections whereas every viable candidate receives his/her equal share of campaign money, and let the best person win! Not the most bribed!)! Create a true democracy with a multiparty system (that means having more than just the two parties we are currently suffering under, you know the Democrats and Republicans) that better represents America's true diversity and that will help break the two party stalemate that is crippling our US government. This would be a good start wouldn't you agree? WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY!!

    January 16, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. metalbagabon

    the 11 percent must be the lobbyists, all they do is vote pro corporate and when it comes the matters of the people they go on recess or holiday vacation

    January 16, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Yeah, I am not buying that they actually found 11% to support them....

    January 16, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. dubrats

    sooo who are the dumb 11%...HA.... must be congress themselves...:)

    January 16, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Dreamer96

    Vote out the Tea Party, and anyone that signed Grover Norquist's Pledge,...and then ignore Grover Norquist...

    January 16, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. clarke

    Better check your numbers CNN, seeems way to high. Like this is news and you needed to do a poll. Do you have your head in the sand.

    January 16, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. Todd Fisher

    There's NO way that they found 11% that could support them. Seriously.

    January 16, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  24. mabear87

    who are the idiots in the 11%. Congress has no care for the people. The GOP only cares about stopping legislation so they can get rid of the President. Sen Mitchell should go to a state that has a real college and get a degree. The doughboy has never shown one moment of intelligence, yet he is the leader. Woe on us, the people. I suggest they all get thrown out and we have new elections with none of them ever allowed to serve (poor word for them) again.

    January 16, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  25. Elliot

    There is something very inauthentic and irrelevant about this type of poll. Sure only 14% approve of Congress but what difference does it make? The American people do not vote for Congress!!!! People vote for their own Congressperson and even though only 14% of the people approve the way Congress has been acting, people in their towns across the country may be in love with the man or woman representing their own district and it is conceivable that commeth Nov 2012, the same congress people could be sent back for another term and two weeks later another poll might also show that the public does not approve of congress.

    January 16, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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