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. joe

    They should all be fired.

    January 16, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. JustAnotherHead

    Yet all the incumbents will get re-elected. American population is at an all time high for stupidity.

    January 16, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  3. Derek

    Well, you get the Congress you vote for. Whenever you have a divided Congress, why would anyone expect anyone to do anything except blame the other House? Or better yet ... blame the President for them not passing legislation?

    January 16, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Byron

    I bet Al Assad the dictator of Syria has a higher actual approval rating. Just because we have the chance to vote for these people every couple years doesn't mean that they aren't totally corrupt. Because America is run by a very small group of super rich.

    January 16, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. Pete Chaison

    That seems high. 11% Some people must be in hibernation.

    January 16, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Cop

    11% approval, yet 95% reelection rate? Something wrong here.

    January 16, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Bob

    Sorry fact is their approval rating wont stop them from giving themselves a pay raise!

    Both parties are morally and socially criminal in their explotation of the American People!

    January 16, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Jeff from Columbus

    The Senate is controlled by the Democrats. The House is controlled by the Republicans. So, the failure and incompetence of this Congress is a bi-partisan problem. I see references to the "Republican Congress". Apparently, these idiots need to retake Civics 101 for a refresher course on the basics of Congress.

    January 16, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. srichey

    Here is a clue: Vote for "Moderation". Its ok; it might not make you or anyone else happy, but that is the best you can hope for in a country that is this huge.

    January 16, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. Kevin

    People are upset with Congress. It's one thing they can control, but prefer to be upset about it at a rate of 89 percent.

    January 16, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Jeremy Tharp

    That's great and all, but try surveying people specifically on their congressman or senator (since they are the only ones they can vote for), and the results would not be anywhere close to this low. This 11% number is irrelevant ... it's like surveying Americans for their opinion of Stephen Harper.

    January 16, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  12. geoio

    And just who are the 11% who approve?? I would really like to know

    January 16, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  13. Kaathoga

    oh.. you know the thing about chaos.. its fair.

    January 16, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Mike

    That's pretty embarrassing.

    January 16, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. Eldon

    Does anyone thing those in Congress even care what we think about their performance? It seems that all they care about is a cushy job with lots of perks.

    January 16, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. mike.s

    The problem with Congress, is that they view all problems as something the government is responsible for solving. Consequently, they use any problem as a means to pass more laws, with unintended consequences, which only cost more money and end up not fixing the problem we started with. Whether R or D, they all want the same thing, power over the plebians. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    January 16, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. Wired

    the 11 percent are the people who are on the upper end of our economic food chain.

    GOP policies are bad for the economy, great for the 11 percent.

    (PS: GOP job bills are a myth. Nothing in them actually did anything to generate jobs, just continue policies which have failed us for the last 30 years.)

    January 16, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Matt

    So, its agreed? Congress sucks, right? We can get rid of the do-nothing Republicans now?

    January 16, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. Franco, FL

    Rep. Allen West, I'm gonna fire you

    January 16, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Tom B

    Congress has given us a story of failed policies, failed leadership, lost opportunity, lost hope,and games of rhetoric and division. They have left us with debt and bailouts! They have repeatedly demonstrated that we no longer need a Congress at all! We need a Parliamentary democracy!

    January 16, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  21. Patricksday

    They currently serve the Corporations of America and NOT the American People, oh they have their Cadillac Insurance, and beautiful retirement to lookforward to, and all the Gifts and Goodies they get for "playing ball" with 1% of the population while the majority continue to struggle. The Party will come to an end once these wicked people are removed from office.

    January 16, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. us1776

    This is what GOP-obstructionism does to a Congress. Down to 11% approval. Pathetic.


    January 16, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. Charles

    The parties will blame each other but not themselves. The pole will be put on a "spin cycle" and congress will just go about it's business and ignore the poll as usual. They will do nothing that will change the course of progress or in this case no progress. Many will get elected out of office and those that should run and serve in congress will never set foot in a race, know why? Who wants to be in company with such selfishness. Who wants to be in a system that is committed to accomplishing nothing except to offend as few as possible and get reelected. Are there any public servants who wish to serve for the purity of serving?????

    January 16, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  24. MV

    The problem is though that while most people disapprove of Congress as a whole, many would still vote for their own representative/senator again. In other words...nothing will change. Members of congress KNOW once again – accountability is unlikely. Instead we blame a president for failing to influence members of congress who KNOW they have nothing to fear when the elections come round. The American people get what they deserve.. and voted for! A Congress elected by the same population that makes the National Enquirer a best seller.

    January 16, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. elgatoblanco

    As a Hoosier, I'm sorry to say that both of my state's senators and six of its nine representatives are all members of the GOP. As agents of greed-based and unsustainable economics, social injustice, and ineffectual lawmaking, I will vote against them at every opportunity, and rally my friends to do the same.

    January 16, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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