Gallup has measured Americans’ approval rating of Congress since 1974. Americans have not rated Congress very positively over this time, with an average approval rating of 34%.
Americans have in recent years become increasingly less charitable in their ratings of Congress, with average approval ratings of 19% in 2008, 2010, and 2011 to date. These ratings have come despite considerable turnover in the membership of Congress following the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections.
In 2009, Congress averaged 30% approval coinciding with the election of a new presidential administration and with the Democrats in full control of Congress.
Independents are currently the most critical of Congress, with 9% approving and 86% disapproving.