Congress’ Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low of 10 Percent

Pity Congress, or maybe not. According to a Gallup poll, public approval of Congress has fallen to a historic low of 10 percent.

83 percent of Americans disapprove of how the legislative branch of the US government has been doing its job, the lowest ever since the Gallup poll began measuring approval of Congress 38 years ago.

In June, Congress’ approval rating was 17 percent and in July, 16 percent.

Democrats saw their approval ratings plummet the most, falling from 18 percent in July to 9 percent in August. Dissatisfaction was universal across party lines, with Republicans garnering 10 percent and Independents 11 percent.

In general, the 112th Congress has been more the target of opprobrium than approval, Politico notes. It received its highest approval rating of 24 percent in May of 2011. In contrast, Congress received its all-time highest approval marks — 84 percent — back in October 2001, after the attacks of 9/11.

Bloomberg quotes Princeton University history and public affairs professor Julian Zelizer who notes that “people never love Congress” and that the two words associated with it are “gridlock and polarization.”

The November 6 election is also very much on legislators’ minds, to the extent that neither party has any “incentive to break the legislative logjam.” Both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate “think their negotiating posture on fiscal and other matters will be strengthened if they win seats in Congress or their party wins the White House in the election.”

Only 79 bills have been sent to President Barack Obama to sign, with most to “name post offices and convey land parcels, and most of the rest simply extend[ing] previously approved programs.” Last year, Congress passed 90 bills that became law.

Congress may be breathing a sigh of relief that its approval rating in the Gallup poll remains, though just barely, in the double-digits. Back in October, a New York Times poll gave Congress only 9 percent approval.


Related Care2 Coverage

Congress Finally Getting Popular — A Little

Congressional Approval is Down To “Staffers and Relatives”

82% Disapproval Rate For Congress: Lowest Ever



Photo by Adventures of Pam & Frank


Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

Thank you Ken W. I wonder who the 10% Dumbo's are.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

Gee! I wonder why Congress is held in so much contempt. Could it be the idiotic stances they take on issues. Let's see, perhaps it is the low opinion they have of women, we can determine your personal health decisions, we can order a vaginal probe for your health and well-being, we can say whether you can have b.c., whether you have choice, if you can have equal pay. And for working people, you don't need unions for collective bargaining with powerful companies, you don't need higher pay and lower taxes, you don't need good jobs with benefits, we have shipped those to other countries. And so much more. Or maybe they are always on vacation instead of doing their job. Like passing the Farm bill, while farmers are hurting with the drought.

Carl O.
Carl O5 years ago

Honestly, after watching the Republican members of the House of Representatives like Boehner, Cantor, West, Bachmann, Garrett etc. in the do nothing 112th Congress can their approval rating really be as high as 10%?

A N M.
anne M5 years ago

This is really comical. For goodness sakes, it's not a pile of Martians who vote these guys into office. Americans are really some of dumbest people on earth. They really vote people into political office just so they can whine about their own choices.

Nancy L.
Nancy Lyttle5 years ago

This is the WORST Congress I have ever seen in all my 50 years of observing the Political scene in America. The Damage inflicted on us by the Hard Right Wing of the what used to be the RePublican Party ill take generations to recover from, if EVER! The partisan, filibustering of EVERYTHING put before them, even on things they originally supported, is in my opinion, CRIMINAL! They would rather see this Country go over the Cliff under President Obama's watch than allow him to get ANY credit for doing something good for us! The joke is on them! The Majority of Americans know very well what they've been doing and will repay in kind come November. Remember fellow Citizen, and never, EVER Vote ReTHUGlican again unless or until they find their Moral Compass and begin to do the Job they were elected to do for ALL the people, not just Grover Norquist and the Mega-Wealthy Puppet Meisters who have been pulling their strings for the past 11 1/2 years!

John B.
John B5 years ago

And this is a surprise? Don't think so. To: Pamela D. I fully agree with your comment and a green star coming your way. Thanks Kristina for the article.

Ronald E.
Ronald E5 years ago

Ernest, Fred: Congress is considered just another investment to keep the ruling class out of jail - by buying legislation to legalize their criminal activities. No Wall Street Bankster has ever been brought to justice, no health "care" insurance mogul has ever been brought to justice - etc. etc. etc.

Ken K.
Ken K5 years ago

Red state Blue state is all so much B*LL Sh*t. These crooks care only about the Green state of their bank accounts..

We have the worst politicans MONEY can buy.

We should refer to congre$$ as the crooks from capitAl hill.

Joachim S.
Joe S5 years ago

So does this mean that the money grubbing unlawful and corrupt government will vanish or does it mean they will continue to do as they please?

Maybe im a pessimist but the reality is no matter how many petitions we sign they will choose to ignore the people!

Chris C.
Chris C5 years ago

Has everyone signed the Petition above "Ask Mitt Romney to release his tax returns?"