Gallup Poll: Americans United in Disapproval of Congress

Image: Gallup Poll: Americans United in Disapproval of Congress

Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 12:04 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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With congressional job approval languishing at historic lows, a new Gallup Poll finds more than one in five Americans believe all members should get out.

In its latest survey, Gallup found that only 15 percent of Americans approve of how Congress is handling its job and 22 percent "are ready to start over entirely, saying all members should be fired or replaced," according to Gallup.

The low approval rating is virtually unchanged from the 16 percent approval rating reported in Gallup's June poll. The latest poll was conducted July 7 to 10 and included a random sample of 1,013 adults. The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

While Republicans and Democrats report almost equal dissatisfaction with Congress, the partisan divide emerges when asked about which solutions they would support.

According to Gallup, a plurality of Republicans, 21 percent, would terminate all members, while 18 percent would impose term limits and/or shorten terms.

A quarter of Democrats, on the other hand, would promote bipartisan cooperation, compared with 17 percent who would fire all members. Only 8 percent of Republicans suggest bipartisan cooperation.

Although it is unlikely that there will be a wholesale turnover of Congress, Harry Enten, senior political analyst for the data-driven blog FiveThirtyEight, believes the low congressional approval does not necessarily work to the advantage of Republicans.

Enten wrote in June that despite equally low approval for President Barack Obama, "Democrats remain even among likely voters on the generic congressional ballot, a key measure of the national political environment" because "Republicans control the House of Representatives, and Congress is super unpopular."

According to generic congressional polling data aggregated by The Huffington Post, Democrats hold a 43.6 percent to 41.6 percent lead over Republicans heading toward the 2014 midterm elections.

"That so many advocate voting into office a completely new Congress is perhaps a sign of anti-incumbency fervor," Gallup's Andrew Dugan wrote. "Others want to see bipartisan cooperation take over the Hill, an unlikely event as election-year agendas become front and center. This mixture of disapproval and disappointment that so many Americans feel toward Congress could produce unpredictable results this fall."

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