The perception of the U.S. Congress among the American public has grown increasingly negative in recent months. According to a recent survey performed by Harris Interactive, only 7% of respondents said they believed the U.S. Congress was doing a good job. Approximately 93% viewed the Capitol Hill lawmakers negatively.
Additionally, only 19% gave their own representative a favorable rating compared to the 71% who viewed them negatively.
This dwindling confidence was expressed across party lines, as 70% of Republicans, 68% of Democrats and three-quarters of Independents all gave their members of Congress a poor grade for their overall performance.
Many think it's time for someone new
Many respondents said that they would vote their representative out of office so someone else could assume the position. More than 50% of respondents said their sitting congressperson ought to give someone else a chance. Just 17% thought their representative’s performance was good enough for reelection. The remaining 31% were undecided.
The approval rating of Congress is currently at an all-time low, according to a separate survey performed by Gallup. Frank Newport, editor-in-chief for the polling firm, stated that congressional job approval fell to 9% in November—the lowest level since Gallup started tracking approval in 1974. The previous low was 10%, which was reached on two occasions in 2013.
Historically, approval numbers for members of Congress have never been particularly high. Newport noted that between 1974 and 2012, the yearly job approval average for members of Congress has averaged 33%. The highest monthly approval rating was 81%, reached in the aftermath of September 11.