The latest Gallup monthly poll shows Congress’ Approval Ties All-Time Low at 13%

The percentage of Americans who approve of the job Congress is doing returned to 13% in October, matching the all-time Gallup low on this measure, first recorded in December 2010 and repeated in August.

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Congress’ approval has been low all year, registering below 20% each month since June. The latest results are based on a Gallup poll conducted Oct. 6-9.

Behind the recent rock-bottom ratings is subpar approval from all three party groups. Republicans’ and independents’ approval of Congress in 2011 has consistently been below 25%, and more often below 20%. After averaging 24% from January through July, Democrats’ approval fell sharply in August, to 15%, and has remained lower than that since.

Currently, Republicans’ and Democrats’ approval of Congress is identical, at 14%, similar to the 13% among independents.

Clearly people are unhappy, and it’s primarily about jobs. Secondarily it’s about Congressional bickering and not getting anything done about the deficit (or anything else).

Congressional Scorecard

  • There have been no structural reforms and no desperately needed repeal of Davis-Bacon.
  • No legislators brought right-to-work laws as a bargaining chip in the budget negotiations.
  • Lobbyists effectively write our legislation.
  • There are no pending measures for campaign finance reforms
  • The bank reforms that did pass have been both toothless and useless.
  • The healthcare bill that passed is a disaster
  • Attempts to reform Medicare failed
  • Military spending is extraordinarily wasteful but Congress likes to funnel wasteful spending to their districts to create jobs
  • No one believes either party will rein in deficit spending (and they won’t)
  • Congressional compromise amounts to spending more on the military in return for spending more on social programs. Economically we can afford neither.

Factor into the picture a jobless non-recovery with real wages falling, and the Congressional approval rating is both easy to understand and well deserved.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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