Gallup: Congress hits new low in approval

posted at 9:30 am on December 15, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

And I’ll bet you thought that was impossible, didn’t you?  Congress has been plagued by low approval numbers for decades, although the numbers rose from their post-Watergate gloom during Republican control from 1994-2005, remaining mainly above 40% until the public lost confidence in Congress again.  During Democratic control over the last four years, approvals remained mainly in the historic 20-40% band … until the lame duck session.  Now Gallup shows approval plunging to 13%, and the difference is Democrats:

Americans’ assessment of Congress has hit a new low, with 13% saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job. The 83% disapproval rating is also the worst Gallup has measured in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance.

The prior low approval rating for Congress was 14% in July 2008 when the United States was dealing with record-high gas prices and the economy was in recession.

The current results are based on a Dec. 10-12 Gallup poll, conducted as Congress is finishing work on an important lame-duck session. The session has been highlighted by the agreement on taxes forged last week by President Obama and Republicans in Congress. The tax deal preserves the 2001 and 2003 income tax rates for all Americans for two years, revises the estate tax, extends unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed for a year, and reduces payroll taxes for American workers. It is expected to pass despite vocal opposition from some lawmakers.

Americans are generally more positive than negative toward the deal, but many Democrats in Congress oppose it.

The drop in approval is directly attributable to a loss in support from Democrats.  Approval ratings from Republicans and independents have declined only slightly over the past two months; Republican approval of Congress declined from 9% to 7%, while indie approval declined from 16% to 13%.  Democratic approval has plummeted from 38% to 16%. It’s the new bipartisanship — everyone hates the lame-duck Congress!

The question is what has triggered the plunge.  Was it Democratic anger at Barack Obama’s tax deal with the GOP, or anger over Democratic obstruction of it?  It could also be the failure of Harry Reid to get the last-minute push on Democratic agenda items, or the attempt to push a lot of wish list items instead of dealing rationally with the budget and tax rates.  The drop could also have resulted from the odd internecine battle between Democrats in Congress and the White House over Reid and Pelosi’s failure to get their work done before the election, or just the existence of the lame-duck session at all.

One thing is certain: no one will be sorry to see this Congress finally grind to a halt.


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The current results are based on a Dec. 10-12 Gallup poll, conducted as Congress is finishing work on an important lame-duck session.

I’d be interested in the pollster’s take on what constitutes “important.”

Good Lt on December 15, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Who are these 13% morons who approve??????

50sGuy on December 15, 2010 at 9:34 AM

13%.

Heckuva job, Nancy.

amerpundit on December 15, 2010 at 9:35 AM

I just wonder what the 1860 Congress’s approval was. Bet that that one was higher than the current one.

rbj on December 15, 2010 at 9:36 AM

And I thought it was possible to get 20% to believe in anything. Often cited: 20% believe Obama is a Muslim, 20% are 9/11 truthers, and 20% believe in liberalism.

Congress at 13%. You could get more people to approve of lice.

forest on December 15, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Who are these 13% morons who approve??????

50sGuy on December 15, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Members of Congress, their staffers, and their family members.

AZCoyote on December 15, 2010 at 9:40 AM

And yet, they believe that they deserve a Christmas gift.

kingsjester on December 15, 2010 at 9:40 AM

What does Congress hear? You’re not spending enough of our tax money to make us like you. Grrrrr…

Fallon on December 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM

These Democrats of the 111th Congress ought to close their session, walk out the door, get slapped into handcuffs, and placed into paddy wagons and taken to the clink.

ted c on December 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM

The question is what has triggered the plunge. Was it Democratic anger at Barack Obama’s tax deal with the GOP, or anger over Democratic obstruction of it?

Neither. It’s ignorance. Dems think Republicans are already “in charge” of the House, so they’re now “disapproving” of its performance.

CDeb on December 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Who are these 13% morons who approve??????

50sGuy on December 15, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Congresscritters, aids, campaign organizers and other staff.

cntrlfrk on December 15, 2010 at 9:42 AM

One thing is certain: no one will be sorry to see this Congress finally grind to a halt.

Many of them belong in prison.

GarandFan on December 15, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Neither. It’s ignorance. Dems think Republicans are already “in charge” of the House, so they’re now “disapproving” of its performance.

CDeb on December 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM

We have few of those Mensa members right here at HA.

darwin-t on December 15, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Some one must have leaked the congressional “Dorian Gray” group photo.

tomg51 on December 15, 2010 at 9:48 AM

The approval drop is due to the abject ignorance of the Democrats. The poll was taken after the elections, which the Democrats lost. So they think the new Republican Congress sucks by virtue of them being Republicans. Even though the Dems still hold the Senate an the new session doesn’t start until January…

Nethicus on December 15, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Am reminded of a song John Belushi did. It was a parody of Joe Cocker called “It’s Lonely At the Bottom Of the Barrel.” Will be thinking of that song when I think what congress has acheived this past year.

apostic on December 15, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Just to put this in perspective, Charles Manson polls at 14%.

Bishop on December 15, 2010 at 9:50 AM

I’m guessing that 13% live in DC.

ornery_independent on December 15, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Most Morally Transparent, Accountable Corrupt Congress…
EVAH!!!!

pilamaye on December 15, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I give them and the administration a solid B+!

search4truth on December 15, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Wow!!! 13% That High??

PatriotRider on December 15, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Senator John Thune was on Imus this morning, explaining how they the Republicans were “hostages” of Harry Reid’s Legislative Agenda. They won a historic amount of seats in November – to the D.C. crowd that translates to business as usual. Thune wait till January, when we take over things will change…same old song and dance. South Dakotans D.C. has used up your Senator – please send Fresh Horses. Your current Senator is apathetic. Thune won’t fight if he isn’t guaranteed he will win.

I want to nominate Senator John Thune for the Pu$$y of the Year award. Video HERE. December 15, 2010

Sen. John Thune on Extending Tax Cuts

Sen. John Thune, (R-SD), on the need to keep taxes lower to help the economy.

Monica Crowley is on Stuart Varney FBN right now, explaining how we all have to support the Republicans.

Dr Evil on December 15, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Who are these 13% morons? They live in Nevada and San Francisco. Las Vegas has shown the world that they are as corrupt as the Daly machine in Chicago.

volsense on December 15, 2010 at 10:07 AM

December 15, 2010
Sen. Thune on 9/11 First Responders Health-Care Bill

Sen. John Thune, (R-SD), on the changes needed to the bill on health care for first responders of the 9/11 attacks.

The Republicans managed to get together on voting down a Bill that would provide health care for 9/11 First Responders because the bill wasn’t good enough. Imus points out that the an extension of the tax rate bill isn’t perfect either so why one and not the other.

I am scratching John Thune off my Presidential Hopefuls. He is freaking pathetic. The Republicans didn’t learn anything from the November Election. We are fighting pushing back we want you our Representation to FIGHT and PUSH BACK.

But tax rates that’s gotta pass now. Uh NO it doesn’t – it will make things less convenient and Thune and the others, They will actually have to fight for and persuade to get a better bill passed in January. That’s called doing your freakin job John.

Dr Evil on December 15, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Still too high.
The DC Metro area has plenty of the 83% that think congressional actions are anti-American. Keep your powder dry and all that.

NaCly dog on December 15, 2010 at 10:10 AM

I can’t believe John Thune thinks we all are going to Buy the Republicans business as usual – passing status quo is going to work. Perhaps John Thune needs to go home early meet with the people who sent him to D.C. in the first place.

Dear Deaf John Thune, I am writing to you today because obviously you can’t hear millions of Americans Screaming – Stop Spending Our Money.

Signed,
One of your middle class hostages.

Dr Evil on December 15, 2010 at 10:12 AM

How will future Democrat historians (is there any other kind?) spin this? Why, as Bush’s fault, of course!

Del Dolemonte on December 15, 2010 at 10:18 AM

Who are these 13% morons who approve??????

50sGuy on December 15, 2010 at 9:34 AM

A.C.O.R.N.
SEIU
any homeless people they can buy off with cartons of cigarettes.
and the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line.

Left Coast Right Mind on December 15, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Unprecedented, yet not unexpected.

GnuBreed on December 15, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Democrat approval dropped because the Reps are getting a say in matters.

ConDem on December 15, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Congress is viewed by the people as out of touch,incompetent,and capable of any level of corruption to further their agenda.
Americans have lost faith in the people put in charge and the people who are supposed to be their “watch dogs”…the press.

This is a prime example of why Americans are so dissatisfied with our elected officials and the press that covers for them:

(via Instapundit)

WaPo Reprises the “90% Lie”, Whines for Selective, Ineffective BATF

http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/309291.php

The myth that legal guns sales in the United States are responsible for Mexican drug cartel violence took another serious blow last week when an ATF official testified in Congress that only eight percent of weapons recovered in Mexico came through licensed U.S. gun dealers.

The Post can’t even get through their accompanying photo gallery without exposing their dishonesty; this FN MAG this South African Vector SS-77 machine gun certainly didn’t come from a U.S. gun store.

This lame canard of Mexico getting 90% of it’s guns from the US pushed by democrats and their allies in the press has been so throughly debunked it’s beyond idiotic to still repeat it.

It is nothing more than a straight out lie.

Yet here we have a major newspaper pushing it as an “exclusive” story in order to support democratic talking points.

They will pat themselves on the back while the informed citizens of America shake our heads in disgust at their blatant dishonesty.

No credibility what-so-ever.

Baxter Greene on December 15, 2010 at 10:33 AM

It’ll drop under 10% if they pass the omnibus PORK laden spending bill…

“COUNT IT!”

/s

Khun Joe on December 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM

I’m waiting for -11%… Then I’m buying stock.
-

RalphyBoy on December 15, 2010 at 10:57 AM

I’ve got to re-run the Jack Nicholson movie ‘Mars Attacks’ to the point where the Martians wipe out the US Congress so I can cheer (again).

MaiDee on December 15, 2010 at 11:07 AM

13%,but 80% will reelect 100% of their 13% approval.

docflash on December 15, 2010 at 11:22 AM

CDeb on December 15, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Agree.

Enrique on December 15, 2010 at 11:45 AM

This Congress is like a guest who just won’t leave the party.

crosspatch on December 15, 2010 at 12:16 PM

If you actually believe the next Congress will have big poll numbers, that won’t happen.

America hates Congress. Doesn’t matter who is running it.

Moesart on December 15, 2010 at 1:50 PM