Gallup: 18% Approve of Way Congress is Handling Its Job

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 18, 2016 | 9:54am EDT
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) - The percentage of U.S. resident adults who say when surveyed that they approve of the way Congress is handling its job increased from July to August, rising from 13 percent to 18 percent, according to a Gallup poll published today.

The increase occurred at a time when both the House and Senate have suspended regular business and members have largely left Washington, D.C. Neither chamber has held a roll-call vote since July 14.

"The rating in August ties with the highest measured in 2016 so far," Gallup said in an analysis by Justin McCarthy. "Aproval of the institution has been below 20 percent in most of Gallup's monthly measures since February 2010."

To determine the job approval of Congress, Gallup asks U.S. residents 18 and older: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?” The latest survey was conducted Aug. 3-7. The previous survey—in which 13 percent said they approved of the way Congress was handling its job--was conducted July 13-17.

In the survey prior to that, conducted June 1-5, 16 percent said they approved of the way Congress was handling its job; and in the survey before that one, conducted May 4-8, 18 percent said they approved of the way Congress was handling its job.

Gallup has published online the historical data on its congressional job approval survey going back to April 1974. Since then, Congress’ job approval hit a peak in the Gallup survey conducted Oct. 11-14, 2001, a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At that time, 84 percent said they approved of the way Congress was handling its job. That was up from 42 percent in the Gallup survey conducted a month before that on Sept. 7-10, 2001.

Congress’ job approval hit a nadir of 9 percent in the Gallup survey conducted Nov. 7-10, 2013.

In the survey conducted April 12-15, 1974—concluding on the federal income-tax deadline day—30 percent said they approved of the way Congress was handling its job.

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