Think Trump’s popularity is dismal? Congress’ is worse

Can House Speaker Paul Ryan help boost Congress’ dismal approval ratings?
Can House Speaker Paul Ryan help boost Congress’ dismal approval ratings? AP

Sure, President-elect Donald Trump’s favorability numbers are dismal. But Congress fares even worse.

A new Monmouth University Poll released Tuesday found “public opinion of the job Congress is doing continues to be overwhelmingly negative.” Twenty-three percent approve, while 66 percent disapprove.

Trump is viewed favorably by 34 percent, while 46 percent see him negatively and 20 percent are withholding judgment.

The low congressional numbers are actually somewhat higher than they’ve been; the ratings have been in the high teens in recent years.

Republicans are helping to buoy the view of Congress, which the GOP will continue to control for the next two years. Fifty-four percent said it was likely Congress would approve policies to help the middle class, up from 30 percent four years ago.

In 2013, 32 percent of Republicans were optimistic about Congress’ efforts, while today 82 percent feel confident. Also up are the hopes of independents, rising from 28 percent in 2013 to 53 percent now.

Democratic expectations remains about the same, with 32 percent saying help for the middle class is likely now, compared with 31 percent four years ago.

People today are split over whether a Trump White House will help the middle class. Twenty-six percent said a lot, 40 percent a little and 29 percent not at all. That’s about the same views people have about the Obama administration’s policies.

David Lightman: 202-383-6101, @lightmandavid