Poll: Disapproval of Congress at historic high
November 12th, 2013
05:11 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Disapproval of Congress at historic high

Washington (CNN) – If you thought American's approval of Congress had hit rock bottom weeks ago, you were wrong.

According to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday, only 9% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. It's the lowest congressional approval rating in the 39 years Gallup has asked the question.

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"The government shutdown in October clearly didn't help Congress' image, and it appears that the impact of that incident may linger, given the record-low approval this month," Gallup CEO Frank Newport wrote. "This no doubt reflects the rancorous partisanship and bickering that characterized the shutdown - the top reasons given by those who disapprove of Congress."

Earlier this year, Americans indicated the two top reasons they disapproved of Congress was the incessant gridlock and partisan bickering, as well as the fact that the legislative body is "not getting anything done" and "not making decisions."

Although Congress' approval rating hit a new low on Tuesday, the fall was not that great.

Congressional approval has recently fluctuated from 13% in 2011 to 21% at the end of 2012, and then down to 11% just a few weeks ago.

The previous low for congressional approval, according to Gallup, was 10%–a number registered twice in 2012.

And despite the fact that last year's average 15% approval rating for Congress was the lowest yearly average Gallup has recorded, the polling agency said Tuesday that 2013 will likely break new ground – with an average 14% approval rating for Congress.

That would be the lowest yearly average Gallup has recorded.

"Having a divided Congress - with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats controlling the Senate - means there are complaints among partisans on both sides, reflected in similarly low congressional approval ratings among Republicans and Democrats," Newport wrote.

Disdain for Washington is also bipartisan. Republicans give Congress a 9% approval rating, compared to 8% among independents and 10% among Democrats.

Gallup conducted its 1,039-person telephone poll from November 7-10. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

Filed under: Congress • Polls
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. bp

    The survey is garbage – there is no way 9% of Americans approve of Congress, that number is far too high to be credible.

    November 12, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  2. texasnotea

    The tea party is a lie! The tea party message is a lie! The tea party is like a huge anchor weighting down the rest of America from being successful.They want America to fail and are proud of it. All they do is point to what is wrong instead of what is right and never offer any authentic solutions. They want to embarrass everyone and anyone who tries to do the right thing. Their answer to bipartisan behavior is to demean the other side into submission rather than work together for compromise. They in fact are a cult born from gerrymandering voting districts so the radical rich can control what they lost at the polls. They do it for attention and big money and most of all,for themselves not caring at all about the consequences to America.

    November 12, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  3. Wayland Yan

    Republicans are great at electing record breakers, first they elected GW Bush, arguably one of the worse presidents in U.S. history with record low approval ratings and then they elect a Teapublican Congress that also broke records for lowest approval rating, 9%. Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, GW Bush, Newt Gingrich, Dan Quayle, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, it's a veritable Hall of Shame. Lol

    November 12, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  4. Voter

    Our congress has an approval rating of 9%? Congress is the body elected by the voters that supposedly reflect the views of the voters. It seems American thinks very little of itself and has given itself a 9% approval rating. We get only what we vote for, no more, no less.

    November 12, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. RDH

    If this is true than how are most of these tools reelected every year? Please people vote for any party but the two parties.

    November 12, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. FidyCents

    DEMOCRATS and the PROGRESSIVE HILLBILLY crowd can always be counted on to do what's best for the country......TAXES and MORE GOVERNMENT SPENDING. This has been going on for the last 5 years, and will continue unless they are thrown out of office for good. 2014 will be a good start!

    November 12, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  7. FidyCents

    $17 Trillion dollar deficit and Democrats call it job creation.

    November 12, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. gene

    Congress is doing its job, stopping the obumer from destroting America. It is the Senate and obumer who shut things down!!!!

    November 12, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  9. CaliforniaAC

    The GOP jumped with joy when they saw Obama's approval rating, and than they got smacked with their own... 9% pathetic.

    November 12, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. alaskan1st

    Makes it seem like future politicians just have to say "I'm not bought and paid for" and they will beat any incumbent. I know I'll vote for that one.

    November 12, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  11. Dan

    Whatever the numbers, the voters re-elect these people anyway.

    November 12, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
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