In looking at the latest Gallup Poll, you might say the 2012 Congress was flush with victory — if you mean flush as in a flushing toilet. It got the lowest ranking.


In history.

Americans give Congress a 14% job approval rating as the new year begins, the lowest since September of last year and down from 18% in November and December. The disapproval rating for Congress is 81%.

These results are based on a Jan. 7-10 Gallup poll, conducted about a week after Congress and the president agreed on legislation that avoided the end-of-year “fiscal cliff,” in part by pushing the deadline for mandated federal budget sequestrations to March 1.

A Gallup poll earlier this month showed that Americans had a split reaction to the fiscal cliff agreement. But the same poll also showed that Americans gave low ratings to the way congressional leaders handled the negotiations, providing some explanation for the low rating of Congress in the current poll.

Additionally, three-quarters of Americans believe the “way politics works in Washington” is harmful to the United States, suggesting that Americans in general are very down on “business as usual” in the nation’s capital.

The lowest individual congressional job approval rating in Gallup’s history is 10%, measured in August of last year. The highest is 84%, measured in October 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Last year’s 15% yearly average was the lowest in Gallup’s 38-year history of asking the question — and 2013 thus appears to be a continuation of 2012’s historically negative attitudes toward Congress. Overall, Americans have been significantly more likely to disapprove than approve of Congress over the decades. The average congressional approval rating since Gallup began measuring it in 1974 is 33.

But Democrats shouldn’t be doing cartwheels.

For one thing, it’d throw out Harry Reid’s back.

For the other, polls find that voters think both parties in Congress smell.

Republicans’ approval of the job Congress is doing dropped to 6% in January, from 14% in December. This eight-percentage-point decline fits with the finding that rank-and-file Republicans had the most negative reactions to the fiscal cliff agreement reached at the end of the year. But Democrats’ approval of Congress dropped by a similar degree — six points, to 15% from 21%. Independents’ approval rating was more constant at 17%, compared to 19% in December.

And you can remain confident Congress will keep up the good work…

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Copyright 2013 The Moderate Voice
  • ordinarysparrow

    This is the poll i like that shows the popularity of Congress as compared to other situations, things, or people… by Public Policy Polling

    Congress somewhere below cockroaches, traffic jams, and Nickelback in Americans’ esteem

    Our newest national poll finds that Congress only has a 9% favorability rating with 85% of voters viewing it in a negative light. We’ve seen poll after poll after poll over the last year talking about how unpopular Congress is but really, what’s the difference between an 11% or a 9% or a 7% favorability rating? So we decided to take a different approach and test Congress’ popularity against 26 different things. And what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and even Nickelback.

    Here’s what we found:

    It’s gross to have lice but at least they can be removed in a way that given the recent reelection rates members of Congress evidently can’t: Lice 67 Congress 19

    Brussel sprouts may have been disgusting as a kid, but evidently they’re now a lot less disgusting than Congress: Brussel Sprouts 69 Congress 23

    The NFL replacement refs may have screwed everything up, but voters think Congress is screwing everything up even worse: Replacement Refs 56 Congressmen 29 (the breakdown among Packers fans might be a little bit different).

    Colonoscopies are not a terribly pleasant experience but at least they have some redeeming value that most voters aren’t seeing in Congress: Colonoscopies 58 Congress 31

    And you can make the same point about root canals: Root Canals 56 Congress 32

    You might get a bad deal from a used car salesmen, but voters evidently think they’re getting an even worse deal from Congress: Used Car Salesmen 57 Congress 32

    Being stuff in traffic sucks, but voters are even less happy about being stuck with this Congress: Traffic Jams 56 Congress 34

    America might have had to bail out France multiple times over the years but voters still have a more charitable opinion of it than Congress: France 46 Congress 37

    Carnies may use loaded dice, but voters still think they have a better chance of winning with them than Congress: Carnies 39 Congress 31

    It may be true that everyone hates Nickelback, but apparently everyone hates Congress even more: Nickelback 39 Congress 32

    Genghis Khan did a lot of bad stuff but I guess it’s faded from voters’ minds in a way that Congress’ recent misdeeds haven’t: Genghis Khan 41 Congress 37

    DC political pundits and Donald Trump aren’t held in very high esteem by the population, but they still both manage to just barely edge Congress: DC political pundits 37 Congress 34 and Donald Trump 44 Congress 42

    Cockroaches are a pretty good reason to call the exterminator but voters might be even more concerned if their homes were infested with members of Congress: Cockroaches 45 Congress 43

    Now the news isn’t all bad for Congress:

    By relatively close margins it beats out Lindsey Lohan (45/41), playground bullies (43/38), and telemarketers (45/35). And it posts wider margins over the Kardashians (49/36), John Edwards (45/29), lobbyists (48/30), Fidel Castro (54/32), Gonorrhea (53/28), Ebola (53/25), Communism (57/23), North Korea (61/26), and meth labs (60/21)

    But when you’re less popular than cockroaches, Genghis Khan, traffic jams, and yes even Nickelback, well, it might be time to reevaluate.

    Full results here