Friday, September 06, 2013

Shocking Results From Poll About Congress

All of the information in this post (and in the charts shown) are from a fairly recent Monmouth University Poll (conducted between July 25th and 30th of a national random sample of 1,012 adults -- with a margin of error of 3.1 points).

The "shocking result" I mentioned in the title of this post is not about the chart above, which shows the public approval of the job Congress is doing. In fact, that result (14% approval) is very consistent with what dozens of other polls have shown for several months now. The public is disgusted with Congress -- and that disgust cuts across all party lines and age groups.

The shocking part comes when two other questions are asked in the survey. Those questions were:
Which political party controls the Senate?
Which political party controls the House of Representatives?

An astounding 53% of Americans responding did not know the Democrats control the Senate -- including 55% of the poll's Democrats. And an equally astounding 48% of Americans did not know that Republicans control the House of Representatives -- including 50% of the poll's Republicans. It gets worse. An amazing 42% of respondents couldn't name the party controlling either chamber of Congress -- including 35% of Republicans, 46% of Independents, and 40% of Democrats. Here's how it breaks down:

Frankly, I'm flabbergasted. I realize that because I'm a political junkie I probably keep up with politics more than the average American, and that a lot of people don't follow the day to day workings of Congress. But how much effort does it take to know which party controls each of the chambers of Congress?

I find this more than a bit worrying. Although it does explain why people keep voting these congressional idiots into power. They evidently don't watch or read enough news to even have a vague idea of who is controlling our government (or obstructing it). If they vote at all, they just vote however a family member, neighbor, preacher, or TV commercial tells them to vote.

A vibrant and lasting democracy requires an educated and informed public. After viewing this poll, I can see how we are slipping into a plutocracy -- because we don't care enough to stay informed.


  1. Control is a malleable term. Just like it is the submissive that is in control in a dom/sub scene, the Republicans clearly show they have control of the Senate when they yell out the Senate safeword, filibuster, and kill any bill before it.

    Now if they asked which party has a majority representation in both houses and we got the same results...

  2. I just thought of another reason for the lack of knowledge/interest/enthusiasm...people are working 3 part-time jobs, looking for that one good paying job, and don't have the time to spare.


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