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Congressional Performance

8% Rate Congress Good or Excellent

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Even though they just voted in a new Republican majority, voters still give Congress dismal marks and the majority believe members get reelected because the system is rigged.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just eight percent (8%) of Likely U.S. Voters rate Congress’s performance as good or excellent, unchanged from the last two months. Sixty-four percent (64%) rate their performance as poor, also in line with earlier surveys. (To see survey question wording, click here).

The number giving Congress good or excellent marks has been in the single digits since April 2011. Negative findings reached a high of 75% in November 2013 during the rollout of the national health care law.

Just 11% think Congress has passed any legislation that will significantly improve life in America and just as few think most members of Congress listen to their constituents.

Just 11% think members get reelected because they actually do a good job representing their constituents, though that’s up slightly from previous surveys. Sixty-six percent (66%) think it’s because the election rules are rigged to benefit incumbents. Still, 23% are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 20-21, 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.

Most voters (65%) believe members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for either cash or a campaign contribution, up slightly from previous surveys. Fourteen percent (14%) do not think they are willing to sell their vote, but 21% are not sure.

Fifty-two percent (52%) think it’s at least somewhat likely that their own representative in Congress already has sold his or her vote, but that’s the lowest level of concern to date. Twenty-eight percent (28%) do not think it’s likely their representative has sold his or vote, up from 24% in August. This includes 26% who say it’s Very Likely their representative has sold his or her vote and eight percent (8%) who think it’s Very Unlikely. One-in-five (20%) are not sure.

Overall, a third of voters (32%) think their local Congressional representative shares their ideology. Twenty-five percent (25%) think their local representative is more liberal than they are, the lowest since the question was first asked in December 2012. Just as many (26%) think their local representative is more conservative than they are. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

Democrats and unaffiliated voters rate Congress’s job performance even more harshly than Republicans. GOP voters are also less likely to think most Congress members are willing to sell their vote.

Men, overall, have more negative views of Congress and its members than women do.

Just 23% think their local representative is the best person for the job, and, before the election, just 29% thought he or she deserved to be reelected.

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

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