Just 14% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress.
This 14% Congressional confidence rating is the all-time low for this measure, which Gallup initiated in 1973. The previous low point for Congress was 18% at several points in the period of time 1991 to 1994.
Congress is now nestled at the bottom of the list of Gallup's annual Confidence in Institutions rankings, along with HMOs. Just 15% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in HMOs. (By way of contrast, 69% of Americans have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military, which tops the list. More on this at galluppoll.com on Thursday).
It’s worth remembering that Congress is basically nothing more than a mechanism for the representation of the people’s wishes. We all can’t go to Washington. So we elect men and women and send them off in our stead. It’s not an optimal situation, it seems to me, when such a low percentage of average Americans have confidence in this system.
Generally speaking, Americans have been skeptical about Congress for decades now. But the current 14% confidence rating for Congress is down from 19% last year and is the lowest in Gallup’s history, surpassing the 18% confidence in Congress measured in 1991, 1993 and 1994.
Americans' are generally in a sour mood, as discussed here. The particularly low rating for Congress this year thus represents a continuation of the existing low esteem in which Congress is held, coupled with a strongly negative mindset on the part of the American public.