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Congress Isn't Earning Any Fans

Friday, July 20, 2018

As Congress prepares for its August recess, voters aren’t happy with the work they’ve been putting in.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 15% rate the way Congress is doing its job as good or excellent. Fifty-four percent (54%) rate the current Congress poorly. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This shows no change from five months ago. Positive ratings for Congress are still up slightly from last November but are significantly lower than the near 11-year high of 25% reached in early 2017.

By comparison, under the Obama administration, Congress received positive marks ranging from six percent (6%) to 23% for their performance. In that same period, the percentage of voters who gave the legislators poor marks ran from a low of 50% in May 2010 to a high of 75% in November 2013.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 15-16, 2018 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.

It likely doesn’t help that voters don’t think Congress cares about them and is more interested in pleasing the media.

Republicans (25%) are much bigger supporters of the GOP-led Congress than Democrats (11%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (9%) are, though 42% of GOP voters still think Congress is doing a poor job.

Men (59%) are more likely than women (50%) to think Congress is doing a poor job.

Voters under 40 give the current Congress better marks than their elders do.

One-in-four voters (24%) who Strongly Approve of the job President Trump is doing rate Congress’s performance as good or excellent, but just five percent (5%) who Strongly Disapprove of the president agree.

Not surprisingly, voters who think most members of Congress care what their constituents think are more likely to give the current Congress positive ratings. Most who don’t think Congress cares what they think rate them poorly.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has shortened the Senate's month-long August recess in order to get more work done, though currently the House has no plans to follow suit. If there’s one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on, it’s that Congress spends too much time away from Capitol Hill.

Seventy percent (70%) of voters think they work harder than Congress.

Democrats have narrowed their lead over Republicans again on the latest Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot.

Few voters believe the average member of Congress shares their ideological views. But Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they think like the representatives in their own party.

Even with Republicans now in charge of the White House and both chambers of Congress, most GOP voters still feel like they don’t have a voice in Washington, D.C.

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

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