Congressional Approval Rate Falls to 17%

According to June 9-12 polling by Gallup, Congress' approval rate has dropped seven points since May, to 17%. A rate of 17% is closer to poll results in March and April, when it was at 18% and 17%, respectively, and it continues--as it has since January 2010--to register below 25%. Although the survey was conducted during the Anthony Weiner scandal, Gallup proposes that the decline "more likely reflects the end of the rally in support for the government after the death of Osama bin Laden."

Gallup has been measuring American approval of Congress since 1974; in that time, the smallest percentage of Americans who approved of Congress' job performance was recorded this past December, when the approval rate fell to 13%. Since 1974, the congressional approval rate has only fallen below 17% three times, all in the past three years and a signal, according to Gallup, of "the recent negative turn in Americans' views of Congress."At 25%, Democrats are more likely to approve of Congress than Republicans (14%) or independents (13%), but approval rates are low among all three groups. Writes Gallup: "Unless conditions in the United States improve and Americans become more charitable in their ratings of Congress, the 2012 elections may result in another shake-up in Congress' membership, although with divided control of the legislative branch, it is not clear which party would be hurt more."

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