Congress’ job approval ties lowest measured

Congress’ job approval has dropped to tie with the all-time low ever measured, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

Gallup found 81 percent of the public disapproving of the job Congress is doing, and just 13 percent approving. The last time just 13 percent job approval was measured was in August, following the debt ceiling debate and Standard & Poor’s credit downgrade of the United States.

The negative assessment transcends party lines, with just 14 percent of Democrats, 14 percent of Republicans, and 13 percent of independents saying they approve of Congress’ job performance.

Americans who are over age 55 have a particularly negative view of government’s job performance, with just 8 percent saying they approve, while young people are slightly more approving, with 21 percent of those ages 18 to 34 saying they approve of government’s job performance.

Gallup pointed out that the disapproval among older people could have a large impact in the 2012 elections, as older people are the demographic that most consistently vote.

At Tuesday’s presidential debate, Michele Bachmann said that politicians were the ones to blame for causing the economic downturn and the state of the housing market more than Wall Street, and while the Gallup poll suggests that the public agrees with her, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday found that the public does not have a particularly positive view of Wall Street, either.

The Post-ABC poll found a slightly more favorable impression of government among the public, with 29 percent saying they have a favorable view of government, and 68 percent expressing an unfavorable view.

But the poll asked a different question than the Gallup poll. It asked whether or not the respondent had a favorable or unfavorable impression of the government, whereas Gallup asked whether or not the respondent approved or disapproved of the job performance of Congress. That suggests that while on a visceral level, people may not feel quite as badly toward government, but on whether or not they’re doing their job, the public feels far more negatively.

The Washington Post/ABC poll found that Democrats tend to hold the most favorable impression of government, while Republicans have the least favorable impression.

The Washington Post/ABC poll found that people also have an incredibly negative view of Wall Street, with just 22 percent saying they view it favorably. In this case, Republicans hold the most favorable opinion of the group, while Democrats hold the least favorable opinion.

The Gallup results are based on telephone interviews with 1,005 adults from October 6 through October 9, and the poll has a plus or minus 4 percentage point margin of error. The Washington Post/ABC poll is based on a sample of 1,000 adults polled from October 5 through October 9, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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