Poll: Congress hits its highest approval rating at 12-year high

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY
·2 min read

WASHINGTON – Congress scored its highest approval rating from the public in nearly twelve years, according to a Gallup Poll released Tuesday.

According to the poll, 35% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, which is a 10-point increase from January.

The new approval number comes after two other marks last year: After Congress passed the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and again after lawmakers passed another COVID-19 relief bill in December.

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Congress is currently debating President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which Democrats are eager to pass even without Republican support. The bill likely will face some hurdles, and Democrats are aiming to pass the whole package by mid-March, when a federal boost to unemployment benefits expires.

Historically, the public has given Congress low marks overall, averaging around 21% approval since 2005, according to Gallup.

The bump in approval follows a historical trend of people who are polled in one party approving of Congress when their political party is in power.

For example, Congress may have its highest level of public support in twelve years largely because Democrats polled appear to be pleased now that lawmakers have the ability to carry out an agenda they like.

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Democrats now control both the House and the Senate and the White House. Sixty-one percent of Democrats now approve of the job Congress is doing – a surge of 50 points since December.

GOP satisfaction is near the low-levels similar to that of Democrats when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House in 2017 and 2018 — before Democrats won back the House. Republicans' approval sank nine points in the past month to rest at 8%.

The last time Congress' approval rating was this high was early in the Obama administration. The Democratic party also had control of both houses of Congress and the presidency then.

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The results are from a Feb. 3-18 Gallup poll, around the time the Senate was conducting former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial. He was charged with inciting the deadly insurrection Jan. 6 at the Capitol and later acquitted.

A total of 1,021 U.S. adults nationwide were surveyed, with a margin of error of +/- 4 points.

Contributing: Matthew Brown, Christal Hayes, Nicholas Wu.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Poll: Congressional approval rating at 12-year high, Gallup shows