Gallup: Confidence in Congress at All Time Low

Gallup’s 2010 Confidence in Institutions poll puts the United States Congress in last place among 16 institutions rated this year with the lowest numbers since the poll was instituted in 1973. The Gallup poll was conducted July 8-11, before Congress passed the financial regulatory reform bill, which President Obama signed into law this week.

Eleven percent of Americans surveyed said "they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress." This is the lowest rating for Congress in the history of the survey – down from 17 percent in 2009 and one percentage point lower than the previous low for Congress, recorded in 2008.

The polling data shows that Congress has some serious image problems in this election cycle, with a majority of Americans saying that they have "very little" or "no confidence in" lawmakers. Half of Americans believe that Congress is ineffective, up from 38 percent in 2009. It should be noted that the poll does not distinguish between party, so partisans will have to inject their own special brand of hyperbole when they are using the poll to beat the other side over the head with the numbers.

The president’s approval rating is also on the decline – a 15-point drop in high confidence in the presidency, to 36 percent from 51 percent in June 2009. President Barack Obama’s approval rating fell by 11 points, from 58 percent to 47 percent in the same period – but Gallup is quick to point out that during the last year of President George W Bush’s term the number was 26 percent.

Unfortunately, the poll did not include specific government agencies like the FCC, FTC, and Homeland Security.

Results for this Gallup poll are "based on telephone interviews conducted July 8-11, 2010, with a random sample of 1,020 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., selected using random-digit-dial sampling," according to Gallup. A full accounting of its polling methodology is available on its website.

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  1. 0
    Im_not_Herbert says:

    Yeah, we passed a health care bill (socalist takeover of about 1/7 of our economy, BTW) which FORCES Americans to PURCHASE a health insurance package… or face prison and/or fines. (Our Federal government has NO authority to do this).  We just passed sweeping economic reforms that basically give the Fed (illegal banking cartel, BTW) free run with our economy – these same folks who just put us in the tiolet and raped massive profits here recently.  And our president, while spending more money than all other American presidents COMIBINED and massively inflating the wars he promised to get us out of, is allowing Mexican gangs to have free run in parts of our states, refusing to do anyhting about it (and suing the states who do to block them) because he thinks that if he does solves the border issue, the RIPubilcans will go against his amnesty plan.

    Yeah… that is progress.

    BOTH parties are puppets on stiring pulled by the same masters.  Keep drinking the Koolaid and believing there is any difference.



    Your Yak is Weak!

  2. 0
    SimonBob says:

    I was bracing myself for complaints about how GP didn’t even try to relate this story to video games.  Instead I got a bunch of nerds arguing about politics.  I would’ve preferred the complaining.

    Maybe I just don’t get it because I’m Canadian, but from this side of the border it looked like you guys passed a health care bill and a number of sweeping economic reforms over the last year and a half.  Did I miss something?  Is America actually a toxic nuclear wasteland at the moment?  I’m coming down on Sunday, so I wouldn’t mind knowing about anything that could disrupt my travel plans.


  3. 0
    Thad says:

    It sounds like you don’t know what filibustering is, or at least how it’s currently used.  EVERYTHING is now automatically filibustered, and the modern filibuster is painless — the party doing the filibustering doesn’t actually have to DO anything except vote against cloture.

    But as I said before, Republicans never had a supermajority during the Bush years and still managed to push through some really radical legislation.  The modern Democratic Party simply isn’t as stubborn or as good at pushing its message as the GOP.

  4. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    Democrats have basically been in control for awhile now. Even if 100% of the repubilcans disaprove of something, if the entireity of the democrats approved it, whatever was propsed would be passed. Dems hold the majority, plain and simple. There is enough moderates in play to stop anything drastic from being passed by the democratic party though.

    Same thing can be said when it Bush was in power and the republicans held control over basically everything. The issue of republicans blocking anything at this point is moot. After September though, the republican party is going to grow massively in both the house and senate due to people on the whole not liking the way the democratic party is handling things. Too bad the republican party is very much the same people overall.

    We need a wash of both parties to be honest.

  5. 0
    black manta says:

    If he hasn’t made any headway, it’s because the Republicans have been fighting him since day one.  They’ve been sore losers ever since the election and won’t ever be happy until they get one of their own in the White House again, at which point the Democrats become the disenfranchised party and the cycle repeats itself.  It’s a sad state of affairs that American politics have come to this, and it’s been steadily degenerating to this point since at least the late 80’s/early 90’s as each party has become more and more preoccupied in getting control of the country and what direction to take it in and becoming increasingly less subtle about it.  I’m normally not one to espouse Anarchy, and I certainly don’t identify myself with the Teabaggers, but when political figures become more interested in getting and staying in power rather than the welfare of the country and its citizens, maybe it is time for an overhaul.

  6. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    I show no pity for man that sought the position of president knowing full well that he was getting a messed up situation. I show none whatsoever, but I do show contempt when the same individual points a finger at the previous presidency constantly for why things are messed up.

    I can’t show any kind of respect for someone who is doing a poor job with the office they have, even if it was inherited messed up. I don’t expect him to snap his fingers and fix things, but I do darn expect him to take some major initiative in getting things back on track. He hasn’t.

    He hasn’t even shown any good headway in getting the slightest thing accomplished. It takes time to get stuff done, I am aware, but I couldn’t have a job and show next to no progress after 7 months of work and still have a job anymore.

  7. 0
    black manta says:

    I voted for Obama in ’08 and still support and admire him.  But at the same time I was never naive enough to believe he’d pull out a magic wand and wave it, undoing the last 8 years of the mess George W. and his cronies put this country in.  The plain and simple reason why we liked Obama was because we believed Bush was a functional moron.  Compared to him, Obama was intelligent and articulate.  At the very least, he acted Presidential.

    Do I believe he is the messiah as some critics have said?  No, of course not!  He’s human and therefore prone to the same frailties that all of us are.  And yes, I was a little disappointed that he didn’t follow through on some of his campagin promises.  But can you tell me of a presidential candidate who has?  He realized he had to compromise, and the Republicans have been fighting him every step of the way.  He’s been saddled with the responsbility of digging us out of the hole Dubya put us in.  That’s not going to take more than two years or even four!  We had eight years worth of Bush administration policies.  Does anyone sincerely beleive he can undo or change them all in a fraction of the time?

    At the end of the day, I still think he’s a good man with a lot of integrity.  In fact, after I get my IT and Internet Systems Security degree, I hope to work for him after he leaves office in whatever enterprise he chooses to go into.  That’s one of my dreams anyway.

  8. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    To be fair, this isn’t really about Obama.  This is about Congress.  However, you are on the right track, as Congress is controlled by the Democrats and their "super-majority."

    I’d have to guess that, maybe, if the people of this country are more disappointed by Congress now than in the history of it being recorded, the people don’t really want what Congress is saying they do, i.e. spending, spending, spending, with no end in sight.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  9. 0
    DorkmasterFlek says:

    Welcome to reality, America.  Some of you thought Obama was going to magically fix everything.  You thought wrong.  I don’t hate him, but I hate how people idolized him so much like he was really going to change anything.  He’s just another politician, nothing more.

  10. 0
    Thad says:

    The Democratic supermajority assumed two things:

    1. All Democrats vote the same;

    2. Joe Lieberman is a Democrat.

    It made for good rhetoric but it never really existed.

    That said, the Republicans never had a supermajority during the Bush Administration, and yet they managed to push even his most radical policies into law.  The Dems like to wail that they’re ineffectual because they don’t have the seats, but from where I’m sitting it looks like they’re ineffectual because they don’t have the spines.

  11. 0
    Bigman-K says:

    It is unfortunate we only have a choice between a douche and a turd when it comes to political parties. One party wants to force their puritanical ultra religious moral values down our throats and the other party wants a protectionist nanny-state with the whole "we will protect you from yourselves as we know what’s best for you" and "please think of the children" bullshit. Both politcal parties don’t give two shits about our individual rights and freedoms.

    Both parties are also fiscally irresponsible with the Repubs speading billions on wars and against drugs and the Dems speading billions on unnessasary and wasteful government programs and regulations.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  12. 0
    lordlundar says:

    However, you are on the right track, as Congress is controlled by the Democrats and their "super-majority."

    The dems lost the super majority earlier this year. A super majority is one that blocks the opponents ability to filibuster, which requires a certain amount. They fell below that level.

  13. 0
    Thad says:

    Confidence in Congress isn’t necessarily a meaningful rubric, but it DOES show a whole lot of people are unhappy with the political situation right now.

  14. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Its to late to fix things IMO as whatever feel good crap they think up dose not have to follow the law dose not have to follow the consideration so they can do all their for appearance crap to ruin the nation as long as they get a secured futured….



    And obama was the lesser of evils BTW if MCsame got in things would be as bad just slightly diffrent goats would be screwed.

    I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression!

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