Rasmussen Poll: Disgusted Voters' Approval of Congress Plunges to 9%

Tuesday, 07 Jun 2011 11:57 AM

By David A. Patten

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Just when it seemed as if voters’ antipathy toward Congress couldn’t get any worse, a Rasmussen survey reports that the approval rating of Congress has slipped into single digits. It now stands at just 9 percent, tying an all-time low.

A lackluster economy, high unemployment, high gas prices, and the ongoing stalemate over raising the federal debt are among the factors contributing to the abysmal ratings.

“Congress is totally discredited as an institution,” Democratic pollster and Fox News commentator Doug Schoen tells Newsmax. “I never thought it could go this low.

“But given its performance and the economic crisis we are facing, it is not inconceivable that it could go lower still,” warns Schoen, the author of “Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System.”

Only 9 percent of respondents in the Rasmussen Reports survey stated that Congress is doing a good or excellent job. That compares with 50 percent who rate congressional job performance as poor.

It marked the second straight month that congressional approval has hit 9 percent.

From January 2007 to December 2010, when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, congressional approval varied from a low of 9 percent to a high of 26 percent, Rasmussen Reports says. Most of the time during that period, congressional ratings hovered in the low teens.

Other findings from the survey:
  • Voters are increasingly inclined to say that the primary role of Congress is to keep bad legislation from becoming law. Previously, most respondents said the main job of Congress was to pass good laws to benefit the nation. Voters now are split evenly, suggesting that they want poor legislation to be blocked.
  • Just 16 percent of survey respondents say Congress has passed legislation in the past year that will improve life in America significantly.
  • Eighty percent of respondents say members of Congress care more about advancing their own careers than helping their constituents.
  • A plurality, 42 percent, say they believe that the majority of members of Congress are corrupt, according to the Rasmussen Reports survey, compared with 32 percent who do not believe they are corrupt and 26 percent who are not sure.

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