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Congressional Performance

Voters Still Down on Congress

Friday, July 08, 2016

Voters still don't think much of Congress, and that includes the members they elect themselves.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 11% of Likely U.S. Voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. That’s unchanged from February. Fifty-seven percent (57%) say Congress is doing a poor job, down slightly from 60% in February, but generally in line with previous surveys. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

When the new Republican-led Congress arrived in January of last year, positive reviews inched up to double digits for the first time in over two years and hit a recent high of 16% the following month. The percentage of voters giving the legislators poor marks dropped into the 50s during the early months of 2015 after generally running in the 60s and 70s since mid-2011.

Voters still express little confidence in their local representatives. Just 24% think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job. Forty-five percent (45%) disagree, but 31% are not sure. That, too, is in line with previous surveys.

Nonetheless, 34% think their local representative deserves to be reelected, regardless of how Congress Is doing overall. While that’s also in line with recent surveys, it’s the highest level of support for reelection in more than five years. Forty-one percent (41%) don’t think their local representative deserves reelection, but 25% are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 6-7, 2016 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

Just 20% of Republicans now think their elected representatives in Congress are doing a good job representing the party’s values. By contrast, 64% of Democrats feel their representatives are doing a good job.

Men and those 40 and over are much more critical of Congress than women and younger voters are.

Blacks are more likely than whites and other minority voters to say their representative deserves reelection.

Just 12% of both Republicans and Democrats think Congress is doing a good job. GOP voters, however, are more likely than Democrats to say their representative is not the best person for the job and does not deserve reelection. But voters not affiliated with either major party are the most critical of Congress and their local representatives.

It doesn’t help that voters continue to believe that most representatives, including their own, are selling their votes.

Fifty-four percent (54%) say the Republican-led Congress’ record will hurt the GOP nominee for president. Even among Republicans, just 20% think Congress' performance will help their nominee.

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

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