Poll: 77 percent say Washington politics causing serious harm

"The finding that most Americans think politics are hurting the country fits with a number of additional measures showing that Americans hold the federal government in general and Congress in particular — the main instruments of how American politics work — in low regard," said Gallup's Frank Newport in a release. 

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"The 19 percent of Americans who do not feel negatively about the way politics are being handled is quite close to Congress's current 18 percent job approval rating," he added. "Confidence in Congress as an institution — the percentage with a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it — is at 13 percent, and 10 percent and 14 percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethics of members of Congress and senators, respectively, as high or very high."

But despite a gloomy opinion of Congress and politics, Americans remain optimistic about the future. Of those surveyed, 52 percent said they believed the way politics worked would improve in Washington over the next 10 years.

That optimism is driven primarily by Democrats, who believed in a better coming decade by a 63-34 percent margin. By contrast, 56 percent of Republicans were pessimistic, believing politics would get worse over the next 10 years. Young respondents were the most likely to be optimistic, with 55 percent of those between 18 and 29 years old hopeful about the future. Older voters were more evenly split on whether things would improve.