Gallup: Congress’ approval ratings ‘sickly,’ divided control a big factor

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 15, 2014 

The dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.

TISH WELLS — McClatchy

Congress’ approval ratings remain at historic lows--and because different parties run the Senate and House of Representatives, chances of the image improving aren’t good.

That’s Gallup’s analysis after its new poll found 15 percent approve of how Congress is doing its job.

“Divided control has contributed to Congress's sickly approval ratings, as it denies the Hill the usual reservoir of partisan support that traditionally comes with one-party control,” Gallup found. It noted Republicans and Democrats approve of Congress at similarly low levels. Democrats have a Senate majority, while Republicans control the House.

Reinforcing those views is floor action. “The parties in control of each chamber are pushing through legislative priorities their base supports,” Gallup found.

Among them: The House Republican leadership's plan to file a lawsuit saying President Barack Obama overreached hhis authority, and the Senate plan to take a key procedural vote Wednesday to ease the impact of the Supreme Court’s June birth control rulig.

The public isn’t pleased, Gallup said.

“That so many advocate voting into office a completely new Congress is perhaps a sign of anti-incumbency fervor,” it found. “Others want to see bipartisan cooperation take over the Hill, an unlikely event as election-year agendas become front and center. This mixture of disapproval and disappointment that so many Americans feel toward Congress could produce unpredictable results this fall.”

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