Poll: Congress gets record low approval rating in midterm year
June 16th, 2014
01:44 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Congress gets record low approval rating in midterm year

(CNN) - A new Gallup survey indicates that the congressional approval rating has dropped to its lowest point ever–16%–in a midterm election year since such ratings were first measured by the organization in 1974.

That sets the stage for potentially big turnover this fall in Congress. Gallup notes that in midterm years when the congressional job approval is low, there tends to be more shake-up at the voting booths.

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This year's rating is five percentage points lower than in 2010, when the House of Representatives underwent major changes, and Republicans took back control of the chamber.

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Another low approval year was 1994, when only 22% of Americans were satisfied with Congress. That also was a big turnover year, with about 10% of incumbents losing their seats, according to Gallup.

But in 2002, when the approval rating was at a whopping 50%, only four percent lost their jobs.

Gallup noted that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary loss in Virginia last week represents some of the anti-Washington sentiments represented in its latest poll.

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More broadly, Americans feel about the same way now as they did in 2010 about the way things are going in the United States. Four years ago, only 22% were satisfied; today, 23% have the same view.

Political observers generally expect Republicans to maintain control of the House, but whether Democrats can hold onto the Senate is a bigger question. The party is defending 21 out of the 36 seats in play this November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

For the survey, Gallup interviewed 1,027 adults via telephone from June 5 to June 8. The sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2014 • Congress • Polls
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Lizzie

    Is that why in the democrats runoff election in Nevada the people voted for NONE OF THE ABOVE

    June 16, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. JP

    I cannot recall any single piece of work that has served America any good since 2000. We are a stalled nation, waiting for leadership that can deliver greatness of our nation

    June 16, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. rs

    Fair is Fair

    "No wonder alternate universe President Mittens Romney is squealing Ben Ghazi. With a 16% approval rating GOPerville is not exactly promoting confidence and leadership (if they ever did)."
    Congress is bicameral. The dems hold slightly better than 50% of the upper house, while the reps hold slightly more than 50% of the lower house. So that 16% approval applies not just to "GOPerville" as you so quaintly refer.
    True, but you ignore the record number of GOP filibusters (550 plus in 6 years) that have completely halted all action in the Senate by requiring a "supermajority" (well beyond the mere 51 votes required to accomplish any legislative or appointments action.

    June 16, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. PaulCat

    """"Lets call a hearing on this*******

    June 16, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |

    After what Obamacare did?


    June 16, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. 2_indy1600

    Republicans have just been in "damage control" mode; and if you think they'll vote for Boko-Baby Clinton, you're wrong.

    June 16, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Hector Slagg

    Aw, well,
    Gerrymandering. That is what allows minorities to be elected to congress. Otherwise there may be no minorities in congress. No doubt the worst thing that has happened, allowing all the great unwashed to vote. Too late to save the neighborhood as they have spent the country into oblivion and an 18 Trillion Dollar Federal debt. Hey, you asked for it, now live with it!

    June 16, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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