Gallup: "Americans continue to hold Congress in low esteem"

David LightmanTribune News Service

Congress' approval rating is up slightly, but "Americans continue to hold Congress in low esteem," according to a new Gallup poll and analysis.

Approval is up to 13 percent, compared to 9 percent in November, in a Jan. 5-8 Gallup poll.

But that's far below the historic average of 33 percent. Gallup began gauging congressional job approval 40 years ago.

Here's some of its analysis of the current situation:

"Divided party control of Congress is likely one major factor in Congress' depressed ratings in recent years. A Republican majority in the House of Representatives and a Democratic majority in the Senate have led to partisan gridlock, with the two houses of Congress usually at odds on how to deal with the major issues facing the country.

"But divided party control of Congress has also made the institution a political orphan, with neither Republicans nor Democrats embracing it as their own. Currently, 17 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents, and 14 percent of Democrats approve of Congress.

"When one party controls both chambers, supporters of that party are usually much more likely to approve of Congress. For example, an average of 40 percent of Democrats approved of Congress from 2009 to 2010, when Democrats held control of both houses. An even higher 47 percent of Republicans approved of Congress from 2005 to 2006, the last time the GOP was in full control."


Gallup poll on congressional approval
David Lightman
McClatchy Washington Bureau