More Popular Than Congress: Cockroaches, Traffic, Root Canals
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The Fiscal Times Staff
The Fiscal Times
January 8, 2013

According to a new poll just released by the Public Policy Polling organization in Raleigh, North Carolina, Congress isn’t doing very well. Not well at all.

What do we mean by that?

Facing low approval ratings after a historically unproductive 112th session and  a series of last-minute showdowns over fiscal matters, Congress is now less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, the rock band Nickelback, colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and Brussel sprouts. 

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When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals (32 for Congress and 56 for the dental procedure), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), the rock band Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), Washington D.C. political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44), France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts (23-69) than Congress. 

Congress did, however, manage to beat out telemarketers (45-35), John Edwards (45-29), the Kardashians (49-36), lobbyists (48-30), North Korea (61-26), the ebola virus (53-25), Lindsay Lohan (45-41), Fidel Castro (54-32), playground bullies (43-38), meth labs (60-21), communism (57-23), and gonorrhea (53-28). Congress’s overall favorability rating stands at just 9 percent favorable and 85 percent unfavorable.

Women (13-81) view Congress slightly more favorably than men (6-89), as do Democrats (13-82) than Republicans (9-87), perhaps reflecting Democrats’ higher level of satisfaction with the recent fiscal cliff deal.

Among ideological groups voters who describe themselves as “very liberal” have a higher than single-digit approval rating, with 36 percent holding a favorable view and 56 percent unfavorable. 

“We all know Congress is unpopular,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “But the fact that voters like it even less than cockroaches, lice, and Genghis Khan really shows how far its esteem has fallen with the American public over the last few weeks.” 

(PPP surveyed 830 American voters from January 3rd to 6th. The margin of error is +/-3.4 percentage points. Their poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.)

The full results of the poll can be found at their website, www.publicpolicypolling.com .