Approval of Congress ties all-time low

Americans’ approval of Congress tied an all-time low in a new Gallup poll released Tuesday, underscoring the sour opinion facing lawmakers during their August recess.

Just 13 percent of U.S. adults said they approve of the way Congress is handling its job, tying a previous low point set in December of 2010, during the lame-duck session.

{mosads}Disapproval of Congress hit an all-time high of 84 percent, eclipsing by one point the 83 percent disapproval rating that lawmakers were given in that same December edition of the poll.

The new Gallup results are in keeping with a series of negative indicators for lawmakers since they completed their work earlier this month and left town after hashing out a last-minute compromise to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt.

Approval of Congress slipped to 21 percent in the immediate aftermath of the debt deal, and just 24 percent of Americans said that most members of Congress deserved reelection. (Fifty-six percent said their own representative deserved reelection, not an all-time low, but still a dismal number relative to past levels.)

The polls help explain part of President Obama’s political strategy during the three-day bus tour on which he embarked Monday. The president hammered Congress at town halls in Minnesota and Iowa, accusing them of being a do-nothing group.

“I’ll be putting forward, when they come back in September, a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control our deficit. And my attitude is, get it done,” he said. “And if they don’t get it done, then we’ll be running against a Congress that’s not doing anything for the American people, and the choice will be very stark and will be very clear.”

The frustration toward Congress extended across ideological lines; 17 percent of Republicans approved of Congress, though the party now controls one of those chambers. Fifteen percent of Democrats approve of Congress, and just 9 percent of independents give a thumbs-up to lawmakers.

The poll, conducted Aug. 11-14, has a 4 percent margin of error.


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