Americans’ approval rating for Congress dropped to 10 percent in August, matching February’s record low for the 38-year history of Gallup’s survey
The approval rating registered 16 percent in July. In August, a whopping 83 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress’ job performance.
Congressional approval has dropped among both parties and independents, resting at similar levels among all three in August – 9 percent for Democrats, 10 percent for Republicans, and 11 percent for Republicans.
“It is difficult to pinpoint precise causes for these extraordinarily negative views, although the continuing poor economy is certainly a major factor,” writes Gallup’s Frank Newport. “With Congress divided, it is difficult to assess what impact its low ratings will have on the November elections.”
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate. “But it is not clear whether voters' disdain for Congress will in any way rub off on their assessments of Ryan,” Newport writes. “Both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were members of the Senate” prior to entering the White House.
The congressional approval rating began at 30 percent in Gallup’s first reading of April 1974. By 1992 it had dropped to 18 percent. But then it steadily rose – to a peak of 84 percent in October 2001 before entering its current death spiral. The peak came shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when the citizenry appreciated the government’s firm leadership.
The rating has averaged 34 percent in the more than 230 times it has been tallied. Congressional approval has stood below 40 percent since early 2005 and below 20 percent since June 2011.
Before 2007, the approval rating dipped below 20 percent only twice -- in 1979 and 1992.
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