Congress’ Approval Rating Increases, But Not By Much

David Wangberg - Author
By

Dec. 15 2014, Updated 8:08 p.m. ET

The average approval rating for Congress this year saw a slight increase, but Americans are still not happy with everything that’s going on in Washington.

According to a recent Gallup poll, Congress’ approval rating for the year stands at 15 percent. That is just one percent higher than the record low average from 2013.

The last time Congress saw an approval rating higher than 20 percent was back in 2009, when President Obama was first elected into office. That year, it was at 30 percent and it has declined since then.

The highest approval rating Congress has received was 56 percent, and that was back in 2001, writes Gallup reporter Rebecca Riffkin. But even after that year, the rating took a tumble.

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“After peaking in 2001 at 56 percent, a high figure that reflected the rally in support for government institutions after the 9/11 terror attacks, Americans’ approval of Congress has generally been dropping each year, with the exception of the spike in 2009.”

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Both Democrats and Republicans averaged a 15 percent approval rating from Americans, while independents averaged at 14 percent. The monthly approval rating for Congress in December was slightly higher than the yearly average at 16 percent. That is only one percent higher than November’s approval rating.

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Riffkin noted that the reason for the continuously low approval rating could be because neither party is in complete control of Congress. But when the Republicans take over the Senate in January, that may change.

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“However, in January, when newly elected Republican senators are sworn in and Republicans begin controlling both houses of Congress, approval may increase as Americans who identify as Republicans become more positive. This has happened in the past, with Republican approval of Congress surging in 1995 and Democratic approval increasing in 2007.”

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The lowest monthly approval rating that the 113th Congress received was nine percent back in October, 2013, when the government was shut down. And that upset many, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Christie criticized both Democrats and Republicans and called the shutdown “ridiculous.”

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“You get hired to do a job. Do your job! There are too many people down here who spend all their time pontificating rather than working. And that applies to both parties. I don’t have patience for that.”

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Over the weekend, the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep the government open for the fiscal year that ends in September. But an editorial from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch didn’t approve of the last-minute effort by Congress before a new party becomes the majority.

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“It’s almost as if the do-nothing 113th Congress, in the last gasp of its first session and its only major action since the midterm elections, had set out to validate its 14 percent approval rating.”

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What do you think of Congress’ low approval rating?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

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