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Congressional Performance

Voters Still Give Congress Dismal Reviews

Friday, December 26, 2014

It may be Christmastime, but voters aren’t in a giving mood when it comes to rating Congress’ performance.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just seven percent (7%) of Likely U.S. Voters rate Congress’s performance as good or excellent. Sixty-seven percent (67%) rate their performance as poor. (To see survey question wording, click here).

Ratings for Congress are generally in line with surveys over the past several years, but the number that gives the legislature poor reviews is the highest in a year. The number giving Congress good or excellent marks has been in the single digits since April 2011.

Sixty-six percent (66%) think most members of Congress don’t care what their constituents think, showing no change from October. Just 15% do think most congressman care what their constituents think, while 20% are not sure.

Fifty percent (50%) say their own representative doesn’t care what they think, while 24% disagree. Twenty-six percent (26%) are undecided.

Just 24% of voters think their representative in Congress is the best person for the job. A plurality (44%) believes their local representative is not the best person for the job. Thirty-one percent (31%), however, are not sure.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of voters think their representative in Congress deserves reelection, showing little change from just before Election Day. Forty-two percent (42%) now say their representative does not deserve reelection, but 29% are undecided.

Just 11% think members get reelected because they actually do a good job representing their constituents.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 23, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Voters are closely divided over whether the upcoming Congress will be better than the one that is now leaving town, but they believe overwhelmingly that President Obama and the new Congress should work together rather than stand on principle.

But just 24% are at least somewhat confident that the president and the new GOP majority Congress can work together and do what’s best for the American people.

A majority of Republicans (62%), Democrats (65%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (72%) give Congress poor marks. But Republicans are slightly more confident than the others that their own representative is the right person for the job.

Men and voters over 40 are more critical of Congress than women and younger voters are. But those under 40 are far less likely than their elders to think their representative cares what they think.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of politically conservative voters think Congress is doing a poor job, compared to 72% of moderates and 71% of liberals.

Republicans continue to hold a slight lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot

Just after November’s election, most voters already expected the new Republican majority in Congress would let them down. 

Most voters oppose President Obama taking solo action on immigration issues without Congress.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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