Rasmussen Poll: Lawmakers Out for Selves, Not Country

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 04:46 PM

By Martin Gould

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Voters are so fed up with the nation’s politicians that 6 out of 7 now believe that most members of Congress are there to help themselves rather than the country.

And fewer than 1 in 3 think that most of the lawmakers are not corrupt, according to a July 24-25 Rasmussen Reports poll of 1,000 likely voters released on Wednesday.

Most even believe that the person they sent to Congress from their own district probably accepts bribes to sway votes. And only 31 percent of voters think their own representative is the best person for the job.

The staggering amount of disenchantment with Congress comes at a time when both Houses are mired in talks to try to solve the debt ceiling crisis. Republicans, Democrats and bipartisan panels have come up with their own plans to solve the issue, but so far none of them have got anywhere.

When President Barack Obama urged voters on Monday to urge their representatives to compromise on the issue, the Capitol switchboard was flooded with calls, and Internet servers crashed. An anti-Washington Twitter account received 36,000 tweets on Tuesday.

Only 6 percent think Congress is doing a good or excellent job, according to the Rasmussen poll. They trust Republicans slightly more than Democrats – 38 to 35 percent – when it comes to handling government ethics and corruption and on nine out of 10 other issues including the economy, taxes, healthcare, and national security.

But on the question of ethics, likely voters believe that most of those voted to Capitol Hill are crooks. The telephone survey showed that 46 percent of likely voters believe most in Congress are corrupt. That’s up 7 points from a similar poll last month and is the highest figure recorded so far.

Voters younger than 50 are more likely to believe politicians are crooked than older voters. Non-investors feel that way more than investors and union members also have a lower opinion of Congressmen than those who are not unionized.

Only 26 percent have faith that most members are not corrupt, with another 29 percent saying they don’t know.

When it came to the question of whether most members are in Congress to help further their own career rather than to help other people, a whopping 85 percent said yes. That was also a record for a question that Rasmussen has asked monthly for nearly five years.

Congress is doing a poor job, 61 percent said.

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