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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Great News: Congress More Popular Than Kardashians!

When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals (32 for Congress and 56 for the dental procedure), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), the rock band Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), Washington DC political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44), France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts (23-69) than Congress.
Congress did manage to beat out telemarketers (45-35), John Edwards (45-29), the Kardashians (49-36), lobbyists (48-30), North Korea (61-26), the ebola virus (53-25), Lindsay Lohan (45-41), Fidel Castro (54-32), playground bullies (43-38), meth labs (60-21), communism (57-23), and gonorrhea (53-28).
Another actual -- but more serious -- release from Gallup:
More than three-quarters of Americans (77%) say the way politics works in Washington these days is causing serious harm to the United States, providing still another indicator of the low esteem in which Americans hold their elected officials and the way the federal government works.

These results are from a Dec. 14-17 USA Today/Gallup poll, conducted in the middle of stalled negotiations between Congress and the president on the issue of averting the looming fiscal cliff. Americans were split in their opinions of the agreement ultimately reached at the end of the year, with more negative than positive approval ratings for the way the various leaders involved handled it.
The finding that most Americans think politics are hurting the country fits with a number of additional measures showing that Americans hold the federal government in general and Congress in particular -- the main instruments of how American politics work -- in low regard. The 19% of Americans who do not feel negatively about the way politics are being handled is quite close to Congress' current 18% job approval rating.Confidence in Congress as an institution -- the percentage with a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it -- is at 13%, and 10% and 14% of Americans rate the honesty and ethics of members of Congress and senators, respectively, as high or very high. Also, last August, 23% of Americans gave the "federal government" a positive rating, while 14% rated it neutrally, and 60% gave it a negative rating.