If you thought congressional approval ratings couldn’t drop any lower, you were wrong.
Americans’ already dismal view of Congress has fallen to a record low, with just 9 percent of 1,039 people polled this month by Gallup approving of the way D.C. lawmakers do their jobs. That’s down from 11 percent during last month’s partial shutdown of the federal government.
The previous low in the 39 years Gallup has asked the question was 10 percent – a level recorded twice last year. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
The starkly negative view spans the political spectrum, with just 9 percent of Republicans, 10 percent of Democrats and 8 percent of independents rating Congress favorably.
“The government shutdown in October clearly didn't help Congress' image, and it appears that the impact of that incident may linger, given the record-low approval this month,” Gallup’s Frank Newport wrote. "This no doubt reflects the rancorous partisanship and bickering that characterized the shutdown - the top reasons given by those who disapprove of Congress."
Polling done in June found that partisan gridlock and Congressional inaction or indecision were the top reasons Americans gave for their disapproval of Congress.
Americans don’t often have highly positive feelings about Congress, Gallup noted, and the average approval rating since 1974 is 33 percent.
The average congressional approval rating over the first 11 months of the year now stands at 14 percent, which would also represent a new low, one point below last year’s level – so the 113th Congress may still find a way to distinguish itself this year.
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