A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How Unpopular Is Congress ?

For the last couple of years, the United States Congress has been a very unpopular institution -- with its popularity falling down into the single digit range. But right before and right after the last election, polls showed Congress had made some slight gains (moving up to about 12% approval -- still nothing to brag about). The folks over at Public Policy Polling decided to see how Congress is faring right now -- after the "fiscal cliff" fight and the Republican threat to shut down the government. So they conducted a new survey between January 3rd and 6th. Here are those results:

General Public
approve...............9%
disapprove...............85%

Women
approve...............13%
disapprove...............81%

Men
approve...............6%
disapprove...............89%

Democrats
approve...............13%
disapprove...............82%

Republicans
approve...............9%
disapprove...............87%

Obviously, the fight over the "fiscal cliff" did nothing to improve the public's opinion of Congress. In fact, the approval number is back down to a single digit. And with the looming debt ceiling fight, that figure is not likely to rise anytime soon. Americans have made it very clear in many polls that they want the two parties to compromise for the good of the country, but with the GOP intransigence over budget cuts that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Then the PPP folks decided to have a little fun, and see just what a low opinion people had of Congress. They compared Congress to a list of unpopular things and had the survey respondents choose between each of those things and Congress. Among the things listed below, a plus number means that thing was preferred over Congress by that number, while a minus number means Congress was preferred. Enjoy.

Root canals...............+24
NFL replacement refs...............+27
Head lice...............+48
Colonoscopies...............+27
Political pundits...............+3
Carnies...............+8
Traffic jams...............+22
Cockroaches...............+2
Donal Trump...............+2
France...............+9
Genghis Khan...............+4
Used-car salesmen...............+25
Brussels sprouts...............+46

Telemarketers...............-10
John Edwards...............-16
Kardashians...............-13
Lobbyists...............-18
North Korea...............-35
Ebola virus...............-28
Lindsay Lohan...............-4
Fidel Castro...............-22
Playground bullies...............-5
Meth labs...............-39
Communism...............-34
Gonorrhea...............-25

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