Poll: 24 percent say most members of Congress deserve reelection

Just 24 percent of Americans, the lowest number recorded in the Gallup poll, said that most members of Congress deserve reelection.

A fewer number of Americans said that lawmakers deserve another term than they did in late October of 2010, just before a wave election that led to a 63-seat pickup for Republicans in the House, sweeping them into control of the chamber.

The poll suggests a sour mood toward lawmakers in the wake of a contentious debt-ceiling debate that produced a compromise that prevented a default on U.S. debt, just a day before the Aug. 2 deadline by which the government would have run out of money to meet its financial obligations.

Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults think their own representative deserves another term; that's slightly above the 51 percent in October 2010 who wanted to give their own representative or senator another term, but well below the safe level of support most incumbents enjoyed in their own district for much of the last two decades.

The new figures were drawn from a new edition of the Gallup Poll, published Tuesday in USA Today. The full crosstabs and data from the poll have not yet been released.

But the numbers also track with much of the recent polling released in the aftermath of the debt-ceiling deal reached at the beginning of August.

A record 82 percent of Americans said they disapproved of the way Congress was handling its job in a New York Times/CBS news poll released last week. House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) disapproval numbers have crept upward, as well.

That's not to say the political burden of the debt fight hasn't extended to President Obama: 44 percent of Americans — a percentage nearing a record low — said they disapproved of the way the president is handling his job in a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Monday. Just 34 percent each said they approve of the way Obama is handling the economy and the federal budget deficit; 37 percent approve of the way the president is handling unemployment.

The new USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted Aug. 4-7, and has a 4 percent margin of error.