Poll: Congressional approval just 16 percent

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Support for Congress was marginally higher among Republicans than Democrats.

"Conservatives, at 21%, are slightly more likely to approve of Congress than liberals and moderates, among whom approval of Congress is just 13 to 14 percent," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland in a statement. "If you dislike an activist government, as many conservatives do, you're probably more willing to accept the go-slow approach that this Congress has been following. But that doesn't make the current Congress popular among conservatives — eight in ten conservatives also disapprove of what's been happening on Capitol Hill this year."

By contrast, 45 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the job President Obama is doing.

The survey comes less than a week after a Gallup poll showed just 10 percent of Americans have confidence in Congress, the worst showing for any societal institution in the history of the survey.

The confidence that people have in Congress dropped three percentage points from last year, and the legislative body ranked as the least trusted societal institution for the fourth consecutive year in the Gallup poll.

The second worst regarded institution — HMOs — had nearly double the trust of Congress, with 19 percent of respondents saying they have confidence in the health insurers.