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7% Think Congress is Doing a Good or Excellent Job

Friday, December 13, 2013

While Congress is working on a bipartisan budget deal that would prevent another partial government shutdown, its job performance ratings remains near their all-time low. Voters' criticism of their own representative in Congress is at its highest level this year.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only seven percent (7%) of Likely U.S. Voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job, unchanged from last month. Congress' positive ratings bottomed out at five percent (5%) in late December of last year but have been only slightly higher through all of 2013. Seventy-four percent (74%) rate the legislators’ performance as poor, a one-point improvement from November which marked their highest negatives in seven years of regular surveying.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Only 24% think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job. Nearly twice as many (47%) disagree, the highest level of disapproval this year. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are not sure.

Thirty-two percent (32%) believe their local representative deserves reelection. However, 43% do not think their member of Congress deserves another term, up five points from September and also a high for the year. Twenty-five percent (25%) are undecided.

Sixty-six percent (66%) believe that most members of Congress do not care what their constituents think, the highest level of cynicism this year. Just 17% believe that most members of Congress do care what their constituents think, but another 17% are not sure.

For the first time this year, more than half (53%) of voters do not believe their own representative cares about what they think. Twenty-eight (28%) disagree, but 19% are undecided. 

Voters are evenly divided when asked if they will vote in the next election for a member of Congress who supported the troubled new national health care law. But 35% are not sure whether their representative voted for the law or not.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 10-11, 2013 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

Democrats are just as critical of the overall performance of Congress as Republicans and unaffiliated voters are, but voters in President Obama’s party have a more favorable view of their local Congress member than the others do.

Republicans and Democrats are both more positive than unaffiliated voters when it comes to whether their representative cares what they think.

Blacks and other minority voters rate the job Congress is doing more positively than whites.

Among voters who say they are members of the Tea Party, 15% give Congress good or excellent marks, compared to six percent (6%) of those who are not members of the grass roots movement.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of the Political Class think their local representative deserves reelection. Only 28% of Mainstream voters agree. Political Class voters believe much more strongly that members of Congress, including their own, care what they think.

While both parties insist a budget deal that will prevent another shutdown is near, most voters still want government spending cuts and remain skeptical that such a deal is coming.

Sixty-one percent (61%) believe most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for cash or campaign contributions.

Voters continue to trust Republicans more when it comes to the economy and also have more confidence in the GOP when it comes to another eight of the 15 major issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

Republicans currently have a five-point lead over Democrats on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot, their largest lead since June 17, 2012.

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

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