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. Walt

    11% has to be overstating the approval – this is the worst Congress in the history of the USA. They are against compromise, they are out of touch, with the majority of Americans and need to be voted out. and are they are incapable of making good decisions. Congress alone has plunged this country into the sewer. This November will be easy – if you are an incumbent, I am not voting for you.

    January 16, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. jj

    Whenever the government fails to suit the needs of The People..."it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it." Vote with your feet next November!

    January 16, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. smc

    I saw a poll recently that said ~50% of Republicans, yes REPUBLICANS, thought it was important for Congress to COMPROMISE to move the country forward. I don't see how that can possibly bode well for these obstructionist Republicans in the House come election time.

    January 16, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. bill

    Hopefully everyone will vote most of the knuckle heads out. They need to be taught they represent the people not the special interest. Cut their pay and require term limits. And every state should have open primaries so the majority independent votes have a true voice!

    January 16, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. whoosh

    This very small minority in the house and Mit McConnell with his pledge that his only job is to make President Obama a one term president, has held up everything good for America just to get OB.

    January 16, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  6. smc

    The Tea Party promised to change the way Congress works, and this poll is proof.

    January 16, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  7. Liz the First

    I wish they'd show the comparison between approval of Dems and repubs. it's the rethug party of NO that's keeing this congress from doing anythin. they even vote against things they want done if Obama suggests them. the American people need to wise up and get these rethugs out of office and elect people who have a brain cell working and who care about the country, not just big business and money.

    January 16, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Emigdio Alvarez

    it's gonna get lower if SOPA passes.

    January 16, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Marian, nj

    Are there really 11% of people polled that actually approve of Congress? If this is an accurate percentage they must all be related to the Congressmen, and Congresswomen. I can't imagine that anyone even slightly informed could possibly approve of the work – or should I say lack of work – that Congress is doing.

    January 16, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. mario

    I thought it was 9%

    January 16, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. JRH

    Eleven percent? Who are they kidding? I'd be surprised if I could find 1% of all the people I know.

    January 16, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Until Boner and McConnell became leaders, the approval rate was over 30%.

    January 16, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Jt_flyer

    Vote them out of office and onto the unemployment line.

    January 16, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  14. pogojo

    just vote the dems out of the senate and we will see things get done.

    January 16, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. John K

    This is the main problem with Congress. Most want to be career politicians and why not? You get a big fat yearly salary, average is over $172,000 per year, you get a better health insurance, better fully life retirement, as compared to medicare and social security. Most can't interpret a financial statement, most have never run a business or meet a payroll or had any business experience. Most are inept at coming up with sound solutions to problems. Most can only whine, complain, and name call the other party; the blame game. And finally most are greedy, looking only out for their own i interests, taking payoffs from lobbyists, potential bribes from contractors, and doing insider trading by their own okaying.

    January 16, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. dowdotica

    uh, heads up folks...should be 1%! get it? the other 99% of us are fed up!!!

    January 16, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  17. DJCowboy

    Jesus, I think we should put in a rule that if the approval rating dips below 20% – 15%, it's time for an emergency election and the current members of Congress can't re-run

    January 16, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  18. Dude Love

    Everyone should vote everyone else out in favor of their challenger, regardless of party or political affiliation. It's a team effort that all of these losers in DC have done to stagnate and allow the further decline of this country.

    January 16, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. Walter

    Oh those laughable libs. They squawk about obstructionist Republicans, but let's see how willing to work with the new Republican president the libs are come January 2013.

    January 16, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  20. Mirna

    I don't know why so many of you are saying that President Obama has majority on both houses the first two years, as a matter of fact he didn't. He had the House but not the Senate. Remember that nothing can pass without having 60 votes. They never had 60 votes. They were short of that number and the Republicans will never join the Democrats to make that number to be 60. So, please stop saying that he failed,

    January 16, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. Deakon

    United we stand. When was this forgotten?

    January 16, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. JimmySD

    The party of fairy tails and magic wants to destroy the country so they can make Obama look bad.

    The Dem's won't let them.

    Everything that right wing cretins touch turns to caca.

    January 16, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. antigovernment

    ok so it seems about 89% of us all agree that the congress is stepping all over us so why don't we over throw them the way the Russians did the tzar, the chinese did to their Emperor or the nazis did to the weimar government if i recall the Nazis did good afterwards so did the Russians and just look at the chinese now maybe we need to do the same to save our country while we still can

    January 16, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. name

    therefore, we are no longer democratic

    January 16, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. Joa

    Obama like to divide congress instead of pulling both sides together. So he always have somebody to blame for his failures. Even when he and the dems had congress the numbers was down. Do we really want him and dems to be in control again? Passing things that thinks is for our own good like the healthcare bill?

    We need new blood need both sides on congress that not corrupted and run by the rich.

    January 16, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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