Congress Approval Rating Lower Then Porn, According to the Poll

A greater percentage of Americans approve of polygamy than the United States Congress, according a set of polls.

Congressional job approval remains at 13% in November, identical to October and tying the all-time Gallup low on this measure. The 2011 average is on track to be the lowest annual rating of Congress in Gallup's history. Photo: Gallup

The latest Gallup monthly survey pegged Congressional approval at just 13 percent, the second straight month it has hit that all-time low. Additionally, 30 percent of Americans expressed approval of pornography.

“The 2011 average is on track to be the lowest annual rating of Congress in Gallup’s history,” wrote Gallup’s Frank Newport in a memo on the results.

The trend on this measure has been at or near record lows for the last four months, with ratings of 13% in August, 15% in September, and 13% in each of the last two months.

Approval of the way Congress is handling its job remains low among all Americans, regardless of their political party identification: Republicans, independents, and Democrats are all in a range of 11% to 15% approval.

Last month, a New York Times poll found that Congress’ approval rating fell to an all-time low of 9 percent.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll, 52% of Americans favor mandatory health insurance, up from 44% in June.

The survey indicates that 47% oppose the health insurance mandate, down from 54% in early summer.

“The health insurance mandate has gained most support since June among older Americans and among lower-income Americans,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “A majority of independents opposed the measure in June, but 52 percent of them now favor it.”

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International Poll from November 11-13, with 1,036 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Congressional approval has averaged 17% so far this year. If that holds, it will be the lowest annual congressional job approval rating in Gallup records dating to 1974 — slightly below the recent annual lows of 19% recorded in 2010 and 2008, and below two years in which Gallup recorded only one measure of congressional approval: 19% in 1979, and 18% in 1992.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who has taken on the unpopularity of Congress as something of a pet cause, said yesterday’s morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown” that “for the last year or so this town has effectively come the land of flickering lights, where the standard for success is somehow you kept the lights on for the month where the rest of the world isn’t waiting for us to figure out how we’re going to meaningfully participate in the 21st century economy.”

Bennet has also taken to the Senate floor to make his case — and he brought charts! Channeling our colleague Ezra Klein, the one chart that tells you everything you need to know about the depths of congressional unpopularity is below.

The current low congressional job approval rating is one of a number of measures that attest to the low esteem in which Americans hold their federal government.

These include low confidence ratings in the institution of Congress, low honesty and ethics ratings for members of Congress, low trust and confidence in the legislative branch of government, low satisfaction with the way the nation is being governed, and a very low image rating of the federal government in general. [via Huff Post, CNN, Gallup and The Washington Post]

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