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POLITICS

Congressional Performance

Majority of Voters Rate Congressional Performance ‘Poor’

Barely one-in-five voters approve of the job Congress is doing, and most rate congressional job performance as poor.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that only 21% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the way Congress is doing its job as good or excellent. Fifty-four percent (54%) say it’s doing a poor job. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Those numbers haven’t changed much since last summer, before the election that saw Democrats lose 12 seats in the House of Representatives. Historically, positive ratings for Congress have only reached 25% once (in February 2017) in regular surveying by Rasmussen Reports since 2007. Poor findings routinely ran in the 60s and 70s from 2011 through 2014.

Thirty-one percent (31%) now believe their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job. Forty-three percent (43%) disagree, while 26% are not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on April 5-6, 2021 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.

Only 21% of voters believe most members of Congress care what their constituents think. Fifty-nine percent (59%) disagree and 20% are not sure. That’s actually an improvement from July 2018, when only 16% of voters said most members of Congress care what their constituents think. 

Democrats have a much higher opinion of Congress than do other voters. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Democratic voters rate the way Congress is doing its job as good or excellent, compared to just 9% of Republicans and 15% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Only 34% of Democrats say Congress is doing a poor job, compared to 70% of Republicans and 60% of unaffiliated voters.

Voters under 40 give Congress better ratings than do older voters, with 66% of voters 65 and older saying Congress is doing a poor job.

Black voters have a higher opinion of Congress than do whites or other minority voters.

Men are more likely than women voters to say their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job. Men are also more likely than women to say most members of Congress care what their constituents think.

President Joe Biden’s strongest supporter have a higher opinion of Congress than do other voters. Among voters who strongly approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 37% rate the way Congress is doing its job as good or excellent and only 24% give Congress a poor rating. By contrast, among voters who strongly disapprove of Biden’s performance, just 2% rate the way Congress is doing its job as good or excellent, while 87% give Congress a poor rating.

With Biden in the White House and Democrats controlling both houses of Congress, Republican voters don’t feel very well represented in Washington these days, not even by their own party’s congress members.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has only been in Congress a little more than two years, but the New York Democrat known as “AOC” is already widely disliked by voters, who prefer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the leader of congressional Democrats.

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

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The survey of survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on April 5-6, 2021 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.

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