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February 8th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

Is 18% approval rating for Congress too high?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's not just the record snowstorm that's slowing Washington down - it seems nearly impossible for our lawmakers to get anything done in our nation's capital.

The Capitol Building is seen across from a partially frozen pool in D.C. A huge blizzard dumped a blanket of snow over the nation's capitol.
The Capitol Building is seen across from a partially frozen pool in D.C. A huge blizzard dumped a blanket of snow over the nation's capitol.

Some hoped that by putting Democrats in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House - they might actually get some of the people's business accomplished.

Not so fast. For example - no one can agree on a jobs bill... with some saying Republicans don't want to sign on to any bill that's being pushed by Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Meanwhile more than a year after taxpayers bailed out Wall Street - there's still nothing in the way of real financial reform and the bankers are back to making record bonuses. And what about progress on any of the other president's top priorities? health care? education? energy?

And this is all before Republicans got to celebrating the swearing in of Mass. Sen. Scott Brown, or "Mr. 41" - who will give the GOP enough votes to hold a filibuster.

It's no surprise a new Gallup poll shows Congress at its lowest approval ratings in more than a year. Only 18 percent of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job. That's down 6 points in just a month. 78 percent disapprove.

Gallup suggests that this is mostly due to a sharp drop in support among Democrats... down 15 points since last month. Democrats' approval of Congress, which jumped up once Pres. Obama took office, is now at its lowest level since then. Republican and Independent approval of Congress has already been below 20 percent for months.

Here’s my question to you: Is an 18 percent approval rating for Congress too high?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bob in Kansas City, Mo. writes:
No, 18% is about right, they do some good deeds when it’s to the benefit of the rich and corporations. Now if we can manage to replace all of them in the next several elections things will improve.

John writes:
18% is incredibly high. It hasn't mattered which party is in the majority for at least the past four administrations. Except for irrelevant differences, our great nation just keeps marching towards destruction.

Ruth from North Carolina writes:
When it comes to an appropriate approval rating for Congress, anything that doesn't include a well-charged cattle prod operated by a citizen assigned to each elected official, is too high. They need to be prodded every time they fail to listen to the people who elected them. I'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers to remind the members of Congress that they work for us.

Pamela writes:
Want to improve your rating, Congress? Try abrogating free trade, putting tariffs back on goods and services, and bring all our American jobs that have been off-shored back home.

Linda from Arizona writes:
Who are these mythical 18% who approve? I'd like to hear them defend their position.

Simon in Orlando writes:
I'm shocked that 18% of the population is idiotic enough to think that there is anything but self-interest and incompetence running rampant through Congress.

Annie writes:
It is too high by about 17.5%.

Moby in Detroit writes:
Jack, I have a hard time believing that 1 out of 5 people still approve of what Congress has been doing. I guess there are more lobbyists out there than I thought.


Filed under: Government • Senate and Congress • Washington
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Raul

    We need to take a good long look in the mirror. We elect the government we deserve not what we need. We elect people and send them to Washington D.C. to look after our State's interest. . So it should not be a surprise that they'll do whatever it takes to make the folks back home happy. It is putting self interest above evereything else. This is the system we created and we get to sleep on this bed we made. Hence we are getting our just what we wanted and not what we needed.

    February 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm |
  2. Hans from Hermann, MO

    Politics has become a team sport. Both parties are only interested in winning without any interest in the American public...we're the losers in this sport. I don't think the "Founding Fathers" ever considerd politics a profession or a sport. We need term limits and no more lobbying. The only lobby should be the voter!

    February 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  3. jim russell bartlett, il

    easy answer: because they start out as pompous windbags with big egos, and maybe good intentions, by the time they get elected to a DC level, they start to believe their own crap and feel superior to everyone: smug, arrogant, seemingly accountable to no one. So as they feel they each have the only right answer to anything, anyone else's view clearly is wrong, so all these type a egomaniacs take a stand on principal believing everyone else is wrong, and must come around to their view. Result: nonstop gridlock, almost partisan non affected, more principal and especially – ego. The only shock these pompous blowhards get is when the new young buck blowhard with even newer more outlandish disingenuous promises, challenges them in the home election as the old veteran sees stickershock when voted out by promises of greener pastures. Of course pity not the loss, the DC windbag hits second life, politics style, making the blue hair circuit doing what they do best, giving paid speeches containing run on sentences of no less than 1000 words per sentence, and conicidentally, seeming to be paid 1000 a word as well. Ironic: today, as washington panics over a little snow and it costs the citizenry 100 mil for the egos to stay home, it might be one of DC's most productive days in a long time.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  4. JENNA

    Why is it always such a struggle for Washington to accomplish anything?

    Because our leadership are slaves to the lobbyists and BIG corporations. And now the Supreme Court has opened the flood gates to more of the same.

    We will be stuck with poor leadership until we get the following:

    1. Public financing of ALL campaigns

    2. Equal air time and print time for ALL candidates – as well as equal airtime and print in all markets for all views not just one view

    3. Term limits for ALL seats

    4. No salary for life for any office held

    5. Health Care on the same level for our leaders as Average Americans (they can not buy themselves/their families or "obtain" any better coverage)

    6. Ban lobbyist from making ANY donation other than to the national candidate bucket that will go to all candidates

    7. Corporations like individuals can ONLY give to the national candidate bucket that will go to ALL candidates

    8. Limit campaigning to 3 months prior to the election so that leaders can do what they were elected to do and not have to stump for re-election as they arrive in office

    By doing the above, we might have a decent chance at getting better leadership for our nation.

    No more seat will be bought by the wealthy and BIG corporations.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 8, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  5. steve in florida

    Let's see, Jack. We have 6 or7 lobbyists for every single congressman and a minority party that can't stop campaigning long enough to even do their jobs. I have no idea what the problem could be.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  6. Tina Tx

    They have all become fossilized relics. Term limits would fix this problem. It is long over due to clean house. Why do people keep voting in the same old wore out fossil? Beats me but I am getting out my dust pan when elections come and I am sweeping them out to go home and retire or all become lobbyists. And we the American people ought to demand term limits.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  7. Penny, Bellvue WA

    Special interests.

    Every politician is beholden to a group of special interests, almost always at the expense of the interests of the people they're supposed to be representing.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Because they are only out for the "party", and neither could care less, about the "people".

    Kinda like a couple of 2 yr olds squabbling over a toy, actually.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  9. Marc

    Because we only have two choices: Democrat vs. Republican, Yes vs. No, Left vs. Right, My Way vs. The Highway. There is never any alternative. Career politicians are only interested in accomplishing one thing: getting re-elected. Until we have a legitimate, credible, third party, we will never get anything done.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  10. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Actually Washington is accomplishing pretty much everything that the big business lobbyists want.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  11. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    We have two major political parties in this country, and no one knows what they really stand for. They have no platforms (that one can count on members to advocate,) and they attract people with a large spectrum of political belief. Republicans range from centrists to ultra conservative; with the Democrats we have the 'moveon' liberals and the 'Blue Dog' conservatives.

    Many join the Congress with ideals and agendas. Once they taste the pomp, the power, (and the money,) it becomes more important for them to keep their positions that follow their gut. Few get through a day without hearing from a powerful constituent or a lobbyist who represents his interests. In this climate, the majority of Americans have few champions. Without a crisis or a bill that aids the re-election of the majority, nothing gets done. We badly need a viable third party with a platform and agenda that meets the needs of the middle class.

    Rick,

    Medina, OH

    February 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  12. USA VIEWER

    It's a struggle because there is so much lobbyist money entrenched in the system – everyone is making sure their wallet stays stuffed – instead of working for the American people. In addition, Republicans have NO INTENTION of being 'bi-partisan'; they want Obama to fail and will do anything – even halt progress for this country – to get it.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  13. vanbarbee

    D.C.'s political atmosphere is one of clash and combat. Our elected officials so often work more for themselves than they do for the good of the people. Basic political philosophy after-all, is about control. They want to be in control, to have control, to control the people. More of our politicians need to run on themselves and not on their party's beliefs. The GOP and DNC need to stop arguing amongst themselves and simply listen to the people.

    Please note, the PEOPLE do not include the tea party minority who simply get the most air time. The news isn't to blame for our problems, but they certainly do exaggerate them.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  14. SARAH from Wisconsin

    Because the majority of our so-called representatives are coerced by lobbyists and paid by big-money interest groups. Once they get to Washington, they lose the compassion for "we-the-people" and switch to "me, me, me".

    February 8, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  15. Angryeditor

    One word you old fox!
    Money.
    Government = Money.
    It's the third world sickness.
    Welcome to the third world America.
    Unless you shun politicians like Sarah Palin, john McCain and Lieberman, your descent is virtually irreversible.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  16. Ed from Chicago

    The short answer is that the majority of politicians are the hired shills of big business. The more nuanced answer has to do with the ever-growing stupidity of the American people. Too lazy to become informed, they readily believe lies and are easily manipulated. The government cannot be held accountable by the small numbers who actually understand what is being done to us.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  17. Willow, Iowa

    well, its difficult at any time, because of the two different views taken by the Republicans and the Democrats. Republicans believe in "top down" and Democrats believe in "bottom up". But at this time the division is wide, angry and never ending. Add the far right conservative Tea Baggers that make a lot of politicians nervous, and you have a recipe for disaster. Nothing will probably get done for a long time to come.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  18. Lisa, San Jose CA

    Because, Jack, politicians are more worried about being re-elected than about governing.
    So long as a problem remains unsolved, and it can be made to appear to be 'the other guys fault' that it is unsolved, a politician has an energized base to propel him to a win in the next ballot.
    Should he actually *solve* that problem, then, well, his base might evaporate, unless he can discern a new issue of dissatisfaction with which to hold their interest.
    So he has little incentive to actually *accomplish* anything, so long as his failure to do so can be blamed on someone else.
    Term limits won't solve this because there are no term limits on lobbyists–all you do with a neophyte politician is provide the lobbyists fresh naivete to exploit.
    And this but one layer of the onion of problems we have. I don't know the solutions, and you don't have time to discuss more than one layer at a time.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  19. Mike

    When you have a group of persons who are only intent on preventing anything from happening it is not that hard to stop everything. Washington is set up to allow that to happen. Perhaps a total melt down is necessary to get the people to realize that our government is incapable ot doing anything.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
  20. JD in NH

    The majority of politicians are bought and paid for. What seems simple – like universal health care paid for by increased taxes – becomes a nightmare when big insurance and big pharma get out their checkbooks and buy off the legislators. The same goes for environmental protection, banking regulation and everything else. Money talks and ordinary citizens haven't got the bucks to communicate with.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  21. JW Georgia

    It's a struggle because at the base of current government, as it has been for several decades now, our principles are not based on law, not on American ideals, not on human well-being, but on money and the people who chase it at all costs. The good news is that with government contorting the very base on which our monetary policy rests, it likely won't be long before a monetary system might become secondary to survival itself. Then a kind of jungle law will rule the struggle for existence and social betterment. It won't be pretty. The alternative is for our leaders to immediately make meaningful decisions on our national behalf. Let's hold our breath, shall we?

    February 8, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  22. Scott

    Jack,

    Our government has become so big and is trying to please every special interest (voting) group that it is like trying to turn around a battleship in a bath tub to get anything done. I don’t believe that the Founding Father’s envisioned a government that has become the nanny state we live in. Everyone not willing to roll up their sleeves and earn their own way wants a handout and the politicians’ are willing and ready to give them the peoples’ money for their vote. A very crooked game they play.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  23. Bob Louisville

    The Republcian Senators and the ridiculous rule requiring 60 votes out of 100 to get anything done

    February 8, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  24. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, I believe because it isn't in their best interests to accomplish anything.
    The task of running the government shouldn't require Congress to be on the payroll all year long. With information technology that we have today Washington DC should be a ghost town nine months out of the year. But then the hangers-on would have to get real jobs or find another host-body to live off, and who would stroke the senators and representatives who think so highly of themselves?

    February 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  25. Katja in Bradenton, Florida

    Because they are a bunch of egotistical, conceded, morons who have been allowed to run wild for decades! Now with the constant media attention, keeping them on their collective toes, they don't know how to act.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  26. Johnny Chagdes (Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    One of the reasons why our Congress does not accomplish anything is because they are seasoned Politicians that do not have the skillsets to achieve business efficiencies ... they lack the critical business project management mindset needed to garner stakeholder buyin (namely, the US citizenship), establish a scope for their effort, development of a plan with a timeline, initiation of the plan, the monitoring, controlling and execution of the plan, and finally the closure of the plan to identify the lessons learned to improve their efficiencies.

    Since their efforts also have no accountability, it is easy to see why browbeating and name calling are their most valued traits ... in essence, they lack the talent necessary to perform work efficiently. They are talkers, perhaps they should be gameshow hosts.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
  27. roger

    Nobody from either party really cares about anything except their own grandizement and increasing their own wealth and power- even at the expense of the american people.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  28. Linda

    Of course it's always going to be a struggle to get anything done in D.C. when you have the GOP blocking every smart idea that President Obama tries to push forward in order to try and get this country back on track. They don't care anything about this country or its people. To them, the U.S. is not a country to be revered, it's merely a market to be exploited and plundered for its booty for the sake of all their buddies at big oil and others.

    Linda
    Sarasota, FL

    February 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  29. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Because you have 535 different agendas and most are not willing to work together to accomplish anything that beneficial for the country. Our politicians owe too much to the money that got them elected and thanks to our Supreme Court, that's going to get worse. Until you fix the money issue, get rid of the lobbists and their money, and truly hold politicians accountable for what they do or don't do, nothing is going to change. Problem is you can only kick the can so far down the road before it becomes a crisis. You only have to look at health care and Social Security as examples of that.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  30. Don (Ottawa)

    When your campaign is bought and paid for by a corporate interest that wants to keep things the way they are, you are obliged to favor that interest. Unfortunately that interest does not often coincide with the will of the people that elected you. So, in order not to let it be known that you have been bought, you have to use the smoke and mirrors technique to make it look like your are on the right side of the issue. You are usually safe if you make sure nothing gets done, therefore nobody can blame you for doing the wrong thing.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  31. Greg in Cabot, AR

    The answer is simple, Congress has a preoccupation with preservation of THEIR job rather than finding out where OUR jobs went and HOW to get them back.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  32. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    The Founding Fathers wisely made our system slow so that we would not rush into anything stupid on an impulsive, thoughtless or non-deliberative way. But these clowns manage to circumvent all that when they want something for themselves. Yet when it comes to getting anything done that benefits the people they are supposed to be working for, they manage to use every impediment available to them. This is the biggest bunch of losers you will find in one building, unless you count the American people who are really loosing out.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  33. Darlene

    I know of one reason why Washington cannot accomplish anything, The House of Repersentatives and the Senate has put aside even politics, and it is now just plain rascism and evilness coming from the mouth of Republicans, and any and all of those who listen and beleive what those racist people are saying. (May God Have Misery On All Of Us). For now we know why so many people are haters of race, color, and creed. It starts right there in Washington D.C. with the people that all Americans voted for in the last election and any election since and it does not trickle down on some American People it slams down on all Americans. I have seen things from Washington in the past, but I cannot beleive this one, but it is right and it canno be denied. Sincerely, Darlene

    February 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  34. Terry, Chandler AZ

    It is this simple Jack, bi-partisanship is a thing of the past. Very seldom do we ever watch the news and see a powerful member of Congress seriously demanding bi-partisanship.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  35. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    Because they all are up to their necks in Red Tape. If they are never able to swim free from all the Red Tape nothing will ever be done in D.C. ever.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  36. Joe R - Houston

    It's because of the flying pigs syndrome.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  37. Tony from Southport

    They don't work hard enough.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  38. T.Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    Well, we could try things like term limits for Congress, public financing of elections,reining in lobbies bigtime, and doing away with that stupid 60 vote Senate rule for starters.However, since our lawmakers are the beneficiaries of most of these goodies, I don't expect them to vote against their self-interest. Talk about a Catch -22.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  39. chuck

    Jack the sole reason why Washington DC cannot get anything done is because there are too many old heads like you occupying space and warming the chairs. It's time for NEW BLOOD and out with the Recycling of Politicians.

    February 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  40. Melissa

    Because all these people care about is money and power. And those that don't, are slowly destroyed by those that do.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  41. Pat - Mantua, NJ

    The two political parties in Washington detest each other. If it wasnt for a majority rule nothing would ever get done. The parties cancel each other out.

    Wake up Congress. The American people are sick of the bickering. You will be voted out unless you all start working together for the common good of the American people.

    Wow, I sound like I am speaking to my first grade class.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  42. James Wardlaw Dowagiac MI

    They are bought and paid for by K street. In addition the conservative Supreme Court just handed my vote to the Corporations, health lobby, and every idiot in the Tea Party movement that doesn't know the difference between the "debt" and the "deficit. Neither do the talking heads on TV unfortunately.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  43. Gina in Racine, Wi

    If the money is right....nothing is too hard for Washington to accomplish.

    Don't you see how fast things gets done for the Lobbyists that are throwing the "big bucks" around?

    February 8, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  44. Paul From Kazoo, Michigan

    What kind of a question is that? Washington has accomplished plenty. Let's list them and they are not necessarily accomplishments of the current administration, I'm willing to share the success with the previous administration:

    1. 2 wars
    2. A ruined economy
    3. A housing market completely destroyed
    4. A manufacturing sector with no jobs.
    5. A 10% (probably closer to 17 – 20%) unemployment rate
    6. The inability to close GItmo
    7. Record profits for the banks
    8. Record profits for the defense industry
    9. Record profits for the oil industry
    10. Bank executive bonuses that can't be beat
    11. Wall street bonuses that can't be beat
    12. Wiretapping etc. etc. etc

    A list of accomplishments they should all be proud of.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  45. Loren, Chicago

    Because they are like little children who haven't learned the concept of sharing.

    There is so much money in election campaigns, that they are all making sure that they keep the money flowing and the only way they feel they can do that is to do whatever those with the moeny want. Money coming from all directions means that Congress is pulled in opposing directions and the legislators can't compromise for fear of offending money.

    Of course, the US Supreme Court has made it potentially worse by taking the reins of corporate spending. To how insulated Wahington has become, the Court forgot that corporations are legislative fictions and restrictions on their spending is permitted under the Constitution, because corporations are not people! Sometimes, I think that our Congress is not people either, just corporate interests slugging it out fo our money.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  46. David from Raleigh, NC

    The Democrats made it a very confrontational partisan environment for GW Bush after Al Gore lost in 2000. Since then it's been a partisan nightmare. First the Democrats attacked the Republicans for 8 years and now the Republicans are trying to get even while Obama is being educated on how to be President through OJT.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  47. Hugo Kijne

    For two reasons, namely (1) that the Senate republicans don't want Obama to accomplish anything, and (2) that the Senate democrats are too scared to call the republicans' bluff. They should let every republican who wants to block a bill or an appointment philibuster and make it an endurance contest. They would win that contest, because the are in the majority, and the republicans would lose whatever support they are enjoying now, because they would have to expose themselves as the do-nothings and know-nothings they are.

    Hoboken, NJ

    February 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  48. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I envision each person in Congress standing on a podium with a pit of lobbyists below. The Congress person steps to the microphone and stay “Who will start the bidding at $10,000 for my services”. This process is never-ending.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Cora

    Ego

    February 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  50. Ray in Nashville

    Because corporate America has deep pockets and you can't drop a nickle in them without hitting a politician.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  51. Matthew from Renton, WA

    Quite simple Jack, so long as no one's willing give an inch to "them" (Them being whoever's in the opposite political.) and they're getting paid to sit on their hands, there's no incentive for our representatives to get anything done on Capitol Hill.

    If the American working public behaved like Congress did, we'd have an unemployment rate a lot higher than it is...

    February 8, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  52. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Because their motto is what can I do to make the other party look bad so I can look good and get re-elected. We are not a nation that believes in the good of the many is best and we really are the divided States of America. United We Stand, Divided WE Fall and Jack, we're falling faster and faster.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  53. Steve in Texas

    Why isn;t DC more efficient?

    Because it doesn't have to be. Virtually no organization is efficient without accountability, and Washington is no exception.

    And we, the voters are responsible, because the one thing we never do is insist that our leaders stop with the partisan nonsense and hollow promises and actually make the machine work.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  54. marsm7

    The US is too big and too diverse for its government to move "quickly." And, thank God for that Jack! This is also the reason that BIG GOVERNMENT programs do not and will not work in the US. The one-size fits all approach our power hungry representatives take to our problems will not produce feasible results. I'm quite happy when they don't do anything – they leave me be to solve my own problems instead of "helping me out" with them. It's ashame so many in the US clamor for government intervention.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  55. Ryan- Galesburg, IL

    Politicains fail to accomplish anything because of the blizzard of dollars they are surrounded by. If they were interested in standing up for their constituents rather than their corporate underwriters, we might actually see some progress.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  56. stevegee

    The ineptness in Washington comes from one simple fact: they act like politicians rather than patriotic citizens elected to solve problems.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  57. michaeljwjr

    Because the American Government is not a Monarchy, it's a democracy. The common people must be represented, and the people representing them are trying to get re-elected.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  58. Cleatus in Austin

    It is a struggle because we are a country with only two viable political parties that just pass the buck (our buck) back and forth every few years. Each side gets fed up with those currently in power, and nothing ever gets accomplished. We need a third party that can break the strangle hold that the Democrats and Republicans have on our government.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  59. Angela Ambler

    That is an easy question. They can't accomplish anything because both parties refuse to work together. The Democrats spend their time demonizing the Republicans and average Americans and the Republicans spend their time accusing the Democrats of turning American into a dictatorship and using scare tactics to frighten the American people. The sad part is neither is really listening to us the voters who just want answers to questions and concerns that affect our lives and those of our families. I would like to find a job and know to my children will have a good future. One day I hope they learn to play nice with each other and to realize that the American people aren't their enemies.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  60. hampster

    Gee Whiz, thought you were smarter than to ask a stupid question. Washington is a bureaucracy. The prime directive of any bureaucracy is; Bigger is Better, Waste is Good, Purpose is Meaningless. Now you know how our government works.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  61. Rob

    Because we ( the American people ) have let ourselves be taken in by professional politicians, who seem to only be able to agree on limiting our choices during election time. Why are we OK with letting these politicians live way above average lifestyles on our dime, and not show us any results.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  62. HUBERT BERTRAND

    Today in (DC) they are so out of touch with each other. If you watch them, They look around for some one to lead them. They walk around talking and not hearing what others are saying.It's a shame to be so money crazy they can't control themselfs.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  63. Darrem

    Simple, the obstructionists in the West Wing trying to make Rush Limbaugh look like a profit or conservative messiah.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  64. Randy M. of Minnesota

    Plain and simple . . . it is run by politicians.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  65. Russ in PA

    It's a struggle because most politicians haven't a clue: they never had a job, they never had to make payroll. Until we the people force them to return to our Constitution, it will be more of the same: nonsense.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  66. Bonnie from NJ

    Basically, the only thing they want to accomplish is their own forthcoming reelection, no matter which party they are from. No one wants to take the responsibility for actually tackling health care or the deficit, that may require raising taxes or curbing government spending (omg!) They will not do anything to risk reelection and will not take any position on all of our many problems we are facing in this country, other than the other side is doing it wrong. That is why they get involved in whether baseball players are taking steriods, to present a fasad of actually doing something when you are not!! I am hoping we, the people, stop falling for all their antics very soon. If we don't get these people out of there, we are doomed!!

    February 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  67. Jane (Minnesota)

    Because they live in a different America in Washington than the rest of us do. They've allowed Lobbyists to influence their voting instead of the people who actually step into the booth to elect them. They worry more about supporting the Party lines instead of doing the right thing for every day Americans because if they buck their Party, someone else might run against them and take their "job" away from them. And now add the Supreme Court's recent ruling to further encourage that relationship.

    It's really disgusting, Jack.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  68. Rick from Ohio

    Jack, the biggest problem in this country is lobbying. I still don't understand the difference between Bribing and lobbying!

    February 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  69. Eric - Houston

    Because of the people we send there. We have pretty much guaranteed through the relatively low pay, need to constantly pander for contributions and intrusion in to their personal lives, that no normal but capable person would put up with being a politician. That leaves us the true ideologues of each party, read that lunatic fringe, the truly power mad or career prevaricators as our only options. Then because we know this, at least viscerally, we split the government and watch them 24/7 through organizations such as yours and make sure they cannot get away with compromising versus the many party litmus tests. Most of the time we are actually better off, but occasionally there is something that so seriously and obviously needs to be done that even the blind hogs we send find the acorns.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  70. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Texas

    Well we have these career politicians that have sold their souls, so they have no where else to go. Since they sold their souls, they no longer feel accountable. Well, unitl they are caught having an affair, being a member of some secret society, getting caught taking a bribe, explaining some pork barrel venture that sends funding to a family member, grandstanding on something that they were all for the day before, or going on a $2 million dollar junket with Pelosi to Norway. Now Jack, do you really think there is honor amoungst thieves?

    February 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  71. Doug from Bloomington Indiana

    Hey Jack. Is this a rhetorical question?

    February 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  72. Brian Smith PhD

    Actually there is no struggle. The folks in Washington accomplish much. For example, Senator Bryd at one time arranged funding for a new train station in his state. Small problem, there has never been train service to where they built it. Another example, the famous bridge to nowhere in Alaska. That was a piece of work. Of course my favorite, the 10 million to repaint Grand Central Station in New York tacked onto the emergency funding for the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles. Show me what part of the station is in Los Angeles. And don’t forget the million bucks to study the mating habits of jack rabbits in Arizona, (as if the rabbits needed help). See Jack,…. Washington is busy.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  73. Ken in Mt

    Because we have a political system that is designed to prevent the abuse of power rather than the exercise of the same. It's porpose is to prevent the establishment of demigogs and there are many stops to prevent it.
    It is unfortunate thaty both sides currently see it as a zero sum game where a win by one side is a loss to the other. Call it a casuality of the 2000 election fiasco. It is now far too polarized for anything good to come of the current scene save for change which one side opposes.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  74. JF

    Anytime the Rich think something is coming about, that is going
    to change their very very very good life they are going to make it a
    struggle for the person or people trying to do it. Let's not play games
    most, if not all of the government are rich business owners. And the
    Rich will always look out for the Rich. I sound like I have a problem
    with the Rich and Well Off, but I do not. I just think that it should not be a Rich or Poor.

    WHAT DO EQUALITY MEAN?

    February 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  75. Joe Hanson

    Because there are no consequences for failure.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  76. Gordo, NJ

    Because even when voters sometimes throw the bums out, their replacements are quickly assimilated into the Borg.

    February 8, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  77. Dan Sczepanski, New York

    Because Congress is 535 wanabee POTUS's.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  78. Susan Frost

    We all know by now that Congress is bought and paid for by major corporate interests. The only way to break the deadlock is for ALL of them to belong to the SAME multi-national cartel.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    February 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  79. Judith in Albany,N.Y.

    It is a struggle because the very Congress that could change the bad are its primary beneficiaries: no to term limits, controls on lobby money, and campaign finance reform.That is Catch-22. Of course, there is the pesky matter of the Senate Super Majority, beloved by whatever party is out of power at the moment.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  80. K

    simple. Our elected nonrepresentatives are completely out of touch with those they are supposed to be representing. They are self serving egomanics interested only their own reelection, are in the pockets of special interests (more so now post the supreme court ruling), are unwilling to cooperate, are unwilling to compromise, and have forgotten that political affiliation does not have priority over the will of the people who elected them. A little thing called TERM LIMITS is desparately needed. Don't forget they gave themselves a nice pay raise (oh, I forgot, it's automatic) while the rest of us lose jobs/benefits and get no raise in pay.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  81. Elizabeth from Toronto

    Law Makers are prevented from passing legislation that affects the future of the US & its younger population because lobbyists, some Law Makers, the media and the average American wants to keep the status quo. It's working for them, who cares about anyone else! The Media including CNN, pundents and lobbyists question every single thing proposed by Law Makers every single day and this all waste time and money. President Obama has learned the hard way that trying to be bi-partisan in the Senate can loose you a seat.
    Unless the Democrats are prepared to pass legislation as the Republicans have done in the past irrespective of what people say SQUAT will happen in the two houses and Americans will end up putting back the party that caused most of the financial debt and wars in the first place. That will be another 4 or 8 years of wasted time. It's quite sad really! Sometimes democracy is a nuisance and a benevolent Dictatorship is better!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  82. Allan Hanson Placerville,Ca

    Because they ae too beholden to special interests. They can't have their cake and eat it too. The Tea party is not the answer either. It would be nice if the voters were represented instead of Lobiests.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  83. Susan from Birmingham, Al.

    No leadership. Its the Presidents job to show strong leadership abilities.
    This President does not seem to have any, If he will lead the parties will
    follow. Just talk and speeches cannot take the place of true god-given
    ability.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  84. Joseph

    Hi Jack,

    I believe that the Senate rules are the main reason it is almost impossible to avoid a deadlock in Washington. As long as it takes more than 60 votes to pass anything through the Senate, gridlock is assured. The record shows that Lobbyists will finance sufficient politicians from both parties, with the result that, their interests are secured. If we really want Washington to do something, we need a simple "majority" rules approach in the Senate. Of course I doubt that will ever happen, so I'm afraid our politics will remain the same from here on out.

    Best,

    Joseph
    Brooklyn, NY

    February 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  85. Carole, Ventura Co., CA

    Jack, there is entirely too much blah, blah, blah. Over-analyzing the minutia is a time waster. The longer Washington appears to be considering something, the longer the rest of us have for our selective memory to kick in. By the time elections roll around we have forgotten just how little our elected officials have accomplished so we reelect them. After we (re)elect them, we expect instant gratification, as we have seen in the past year with this Administration. Notice how loud the POTUS detractors are screaming. President Obama never said change would be overnight. He has stressed, since Election Day, that it would take time and be hard work. If all the Blah, Blah, Blahers would just shut up and listen – or even better – help – for a change, maybe something would get done more quickly.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  86. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    Too many of our elected officials are beholden to too many special interests. We have a government of professional politcians who only serve the money. Term limits are the only answer but with corperations now being allowed to "contribute" to campaigns elected officials will end up being bought before they take office.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  87. Bill in Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack, there's so much hatred built up these days between the two parties that no one can agree with the other side. And if anyone even shows a willingness to work together, they are criticized and scorn by their own party for doing so. If that isn't bad enough then you have all the lobbyist and special interest groups to deal with. When you have this kind of atmosphere to work in, trying to solve the many problems we have, makes it next to impossible to accomplish.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  88. J

    because everyone is worried about their careers. duh

    February 8, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  89. Rian McMurtry

    Corporate money. And the Supreme Court just decided that property has free spending...er, speech...rights.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  90. Ed from California

    Jack, the Democrats (sad to say) have no backbone. The Republicans have a backbone and a one word vocabulary, "No". No, to any democratic idea. No, to any democratic needs or wants. Except, they do say, "A big hell yes", to their "in" friends. Their rich and powerful friends, the ones who worship and believe in the power of the all mighty dollar, and of course, shopping trips to Paris.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  91. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, NY

    Jack,

    The peoples' interests run second to the interests of the lawmakers desire to line their own pockets.
    It's the Gordon Gekko Washington politician credo: Greed is Good

    February 8, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  92. Abe Iowa City, Iowa

    The premise of the question is misleading. Congress seems to accomplish a lot for Wall Street, big oil, big pharma, and arms manufacturers in little or no time at all. Imagine that!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  93. Dennis North Carolina

    too many old faces and to much corruption to give us good government.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  94. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    The words irresponsibility, conceit, greed, manipulation, and control comes to mind.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  95. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Jack,I have answered this many times in many ways.So this time I will keep it short and simple.
    Answer:
    ITS ALWAYS ABOUT RE ELECTION AND ME ME ME ME ITS IS NEVER ""EVER"" ABOUT THE PEOPLE.ITS ALL ABOUT DOING EXACTLY WHAT THE LOBBY SAYS TO DO $$$$$$$$$$$
    David

    February 8, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  96. J.L from NJ

    Too many selfish EGOS.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  97. Dave , Munhall , Pa.

    The Reagan Administration started it all. First with drugs then they realizied it would work on Everything......JUST SAY NO !!!!!!!!!!!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  98. Antonio DeLeon

    DC is a struggle because after Pesident Reagan the life is to expensive...,when I came to the US in 1978 from PR, USA machine shop was paid to a machinist like I'm was $8.75 and $11.00 may be a very good machinist with many years... in X company I say $15.00 Hr. This spectacular person have a house, bran new car, travel vacation and some saving. Well know a litter better because We have CNC machine but the paid $10.00 dollars more by HR a machinist in the Obama or other administration with can buy any house, any B.N. Car, no travel vacation and no good saving. We have to sell our products here in USA. So Obama or other administrator is the problem right now, DC need put back the jobs back and dropper every products prices.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  99. BigD GottaGoTell It, Minnesota

    Why a Struggle to Accomplish Anything?

    STRUGGLE? Because President Obama is SUCH a "Down Right Good Guy" & Wants Everyone in Washington to Just Go Ahead & Do Their JOBS & He Doesn't Want to Be a SELFISHLY Arrogant Republican NASTY + Rule By "DIVINE REV. WRIGHT!"
    But Instead,
    President OBAMA Has OVERESTIMATED His OWN STAFF'S ABILITY to ACT PRODUCTIVELY Along With Congress as a WHOLE. A What?
    SO..
    President Obama is "FORCED" to Act On His OWN Which is Where He Should Be ANYWAY!
    "No GOOD DEEDS GO UNPUNISHED!"
    "IT DOESN'T PAY TO BE A NICE GUY!"
    "GOD'S SPEED PRESIDENT OBAMA, GIVE 'EM HELL!"

    February 8, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  100. Allen L Wenger

    It's Republican stategy and it is easier to obstruct than to compromise.

    Mountain Home ID

    February 8, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  101. Jeff in Houston, Texas

    Because the Democrats lack the backbone to stand up for the little guy in the end. They make a big talk, but then cave in every single time. Result: Republicans come in with their choir robes, tamboreens, and revleations of the boogey man, all in a very effective plan to stir up those same little guys. Fear, ignorance, and a lack of education seem to always win out in this country. Bubba may have his tea party, but can Bubba even read?

    If we do not find a progressive leader for this country, one that can stare down the shammans and the CEO's, some other country will need to take over leadership in the world. We will be too busy playing with our beads and rattles. Obama may be our last chance, and he too is caving in.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  102. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, when you have obstacles like the fragile spine of John McCain, 'moose jelly mentalities' coating the workplace floors, and Boehner headed idealist attitudes tripping you up as you try do your necessary tasks, what can you expect? It will only get worse in November...hide and watch.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  103. Layne Alleman

    Jack, It's simple; "if you don't talk like me, act like me, think like me,you're a LOSER". "AMERCA LOVES A WINNER, HATES A LOSER". Everyone wants to win, so it's "my way or the highway". No one in either party wants to admit the obvious, they don't have a clue what they're doing, but DAMN, they sure want to be re-elected again so they can do some more of whatever that is. The thing is, most of them will, again and again. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  104. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Simple, Jack. Because the President is African American. Republicans are racists. And the blue dog democrats are too. It is disgusting, but true. I love the President, but he's banging his head against a gigantic brick wall! Shame on America!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  105. Ken in Pinon Hills California

    Race, religion, and the trillions of dollars that are represented on K street.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  106. R. A. Williamson (Danville, CA)

    Jack:

    Given the opposite of CON is PRO, the opposite of CONgress is PROgress. It's that simple when dealing with career politicians.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  107. ROD Chicago

    Because they care more about their pay check and re-election then they do about actually solving problems.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  108. chris

    there is someting they do acomplish is pork here pork there pork everywhere oh yeah don't forget their pay raises that is all they accomplish and bloatted budgets and naming post offices are all they do

    February 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  109. joe form chi

    It's their job!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  110. Ron in South Carolina

    Politicians who only want to keep their jobs and lobbists.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  111. Conor in Chicago

    Because ideology is valued more than practicality in both political partys.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  112. Wynona Ely Atlanta, Georgia

    Because both parties are in the pockets of lobbyists and a lot of them are career politicians who need to retire or get booted out. I think there should be term limits on these folks. Both parties have been doing absolutely nothing for the past 30 years but lineing their pockets with big oil, banks, insurance companies campaign money. Its time for a 2010 fall cleaning of some democrats and republicans and again in 2012. President Obama can't change a corrupt washington in 1 year when its what they have been doing for decades.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  113. Rebecca in SC

    That is simple. The rules of the Senate mean that we do not really live in a DEMOCRATIC republic. Individual senators are allowed to block action on nominations to fill government positions–sometimes to bargain for pork (as Senator Shelby is doing) and sometimes to push an agenda (as Senator DeMint did in blocking the TSA nomination to bargain for anti-union concessions). Moreover, the minority is able to prevent legislation that would pass with a clear majority from coming to a vote. These anti-democratic senate rules have been used sparingly in the past, but they have been abused by the Republican senators since the 2006 election. The constitution does not sanction these abuses–they result from Senate rules that assume the senators to be people of good will who in the end believe in democracy. Unfortunately the current Republican party is not made up of such people.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  114. Peg from NY

    Because Washington is full of stubborn blowhards who clearly do not care to work hard for the greater good. They would rather exist in their self created quagmire than remotely consider change.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  115. Rob in NC

    Because doing the countries business means giving the country the business. ALL of these guys spend ALL of their time working on getting ready for their next election. They have no time to do anything else... except point fingers at each other for doing nothing!!! Rob in Clayton NC

    February 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  116. Steve Clark

    Hi Jack, with the latest Supreme Court decision on Corporate contributions the problems are only going to get worse. I recently found an article written by Supreet Minhas in the Columbia Spectator on January 31 of this year, read it and the logic that it discussed was far more truthful than the reasoning presented by Justice Kennedy. What is surprising is that Minhas is only a college junior.
    The article is tittled "Corporations are not people and money is not free speech"
    I hope Congress has the drive to come up with a Constitutional Amendment to suppress this terrible decision.
    Keep up the good work, The Clarks

    February 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  117. Alex in Gig Harbor

    How the heck can the GOP say "NO!" jobs and tax cuts for business. It shows that they will shoot themselves in their talking points to spite Obama.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  118. Homeless D in Atlanta

    Why is the question on onw screen different from the question on the link from the first screen?

    What exactly is it that you want to ask, anyway? Something about the approval rating, or about the total inability of the congress to get anything constructive done?

    February 8, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  119. Maria

    Washington is built on the premise of 'if I get that guy, then I've won.' And so the fight begins. The GOP open statement they will not vote for anything Obama wants is childish, immature, and very reckless. The Dem statement they will pass bills without GOP support is ludicrous, reckless, and immature. It's like the Christians throwing gladiators to the lions and watching until they die.

    If our government ever becomes focused on doing their job of working for the people, instead of setting up a game of 'gotcha', we will forever be suspended in this dead zone. I honestly believe that our gov't is so corrupt now, we somehow need to take action, remove all legistators who have been in over 5 years, elect new, untainted people and strongly suppot term limits. Term limits would help immeasureably.

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    February 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  120. Joe M

    Jack,

    Yes! It should be less than zero. Why? Partisan politics, special interest, lobbyists, greed, self-absorption, corruption, and incompetence. That's just name a few of the their characteristics.
    I am sure our founding fathers have rolled over in their graves along time ago. I don't blame them. I am disgusted myself.

    Joe M (Brainerd, Mn)

    February 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  121. david doherty

    Because of our two party system Jack , our government is reported on, and critiqued like it's some sort of sporting event! I think the next time I hear one of those stuffed shirts utter the words, for the good of the people I'm gonna puke! Replace the words, for the good of the people with (what will put more money in my pocket) and for once I'll believe what is being said. Washington is so corrupt, only a fool (us) could believe that something that could benefit America could come from such a system.
    Dave from Peterborough, NH.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  122. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Yes, I think a 10 percent rating is about right. This has got to be the biggest do nothing congress I can ever remember in my sixty eight years.If they were any worse they should just stay home.

    February 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  123. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    No. Congress had a mandate from We, the People: Pass Healthcare!

    And so far, thanks to the "blue-dogs" and Grand Obstructionist Party, Americans are still dying because they do not have healthcare!

    I am stunned that some Americans worry about a terrorist attack more than the health of their neighbor!

    If you have healthcare you are lucky, and even so, you are only one healthcare crisis away from bankruptcy!

    February 8, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  124. JIM El Paso Tx

    Jack...I think sooo🙂

    February 8, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  125. Johnny Chagdes (Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    No ... it seems to be correct to me. Look at it a different way ... it says that only 1 in every 5.5 voters likes our congressional members. No wonder the senior members are in a tizzy ... only a small portion want to see the same faces.

    I like the "low" numbers. It says that America is fed up. The change that we can believe in is the changing of the old guard, and more specifically, the leaders.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  126. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, obviously the number is WAY TOO LOW. Look at the re-election rate. I don't know who was polled, but they don't represent the voters of this nation.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  127. MNResident

    Jack, if people are talking about their own individual congressional members, the number is too LOW. The reality is that, in the privacy of the voting booth, voters reelect their own representatives at very high rates, as everyone blames every other member of congress for the problems. Look in the mirror, Americans. As the old comic stip character Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us....."

    February 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  128. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    The elected congress all had apposition and still won. This is what you get in a democracy,are the citizens running a circus from a monkey cage?

    February 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  129. George, Montrose,PA

    Why even give Congress the benefit of the doubt at this point. They don't deserve the benefit of a rating. Have we lost the power to get these political slugs out of office???????????. Just maybe we need new parties for new times. The 2 we have are too embedded and truly SUCK!!!

    February 8, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  130. chuck b

    No its not too high.... I'm suprised its at 18%. Congress quit listening to there voters long ago, until we get back to congress doing as elected by there voters and quit listening to big business. Americans voters do have a chance. Its both parties, not just one.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  131. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    It can only go up!

    February 8, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  132. Jimmy in Greenville, NC

    I'd say 18 percent is about right. Half of us don't even know we got a Congress and the other 32 per cent are illegals. Every time we throw the bums out we elect a new set of bums. Congress is like marriage......about 18 percent of the time we get along.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  133. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    No, it's not too high. There are at least 18% of the people that are totally clueless.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  134. Richard Texas

    Jack I think the Gallup pole is about right. Lets face it, there was no where for Obama and the democrats to go but down with his policy and agenda and congresses spending. In 11 months they have proposed to doubled the national debt and plan on doing that again in the next 10 years. They have spent or plan on spending more then all the presidents combined since George Washington in just 11 months. That is why their numbers are in the crapper and there is no one to blame but themselves for it. No Bush and No republicans this time, just democrats. Perhaps after the mid term elections there will be some of that CHANGE we were all hoping for.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  135. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Wow, is it really that high? If it is, then it is18% higher than it should be. The sad reality is that Congress could care less about their approval rating, no matter how low it is. They ignore our pleas for action and pretty much give us the finger at every opportunity, and the shaft whenever possible. So why should they care about something as petty as public opinion?

    February 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  136. Chris, NY

    Jobs bill, financial reform, health care reform, and national security should be the top priority of the 111th congress. The House has passed all of this important legislation. However the timid speak out of both sides of the mouth, I want to be elected again so I won't take a risk, Senate is a complete failure........The GOP, nor the DEMS in the senate, have taken lead on anything. This is what is messing up momentum and foward movement. Indeciciveness. At least if the senate would pass some legislation, for the President to sign, Americans view of this governing body would change. Alas Jack I see no courage in the Senate.......this brings down the house(of reps) big time.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  137. mike

    Sarah needs to go home and raise her kids so that the liberal Blitzer won't have any additional amunition with which to insult us Republicans or Independents who find Sarah a little underqualified.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  138. Denis Duffy

    Congress has a lower approval rate than organized crime. At least with street crooks, you know where you stand.

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  139. Dave, Chicago, Illinois

    Yes, it's too high. It does prove the old adage about fooling some of the people all of the time. I guess some of the people is about 18 percent.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  140. jack's #1Fan

    The Answer to this is very simple,Way To High

    February 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  141. Gigi Oregon

    How low do the polls have to go before Congress wakes up. We don't like it when our Representatives get up and Say "the American People want". WRONG... We were not happy with the Republican party and voted you out, now go place nice.
    Eighty two Present of the people are saying No to congress.
    Congress doesn't have a clue or could care less. Yes... we do want change, Yes... we do want the rich/corporate America to pay a fare tax, yes... we do want banks to be regulated by the government, yes... we do want change in the way government does business, yes... we do want our tax money back in the form of national health care. We voted on those things 11-04-2008 And my own personal want is (a drum roll please) an 18% cut in pay for all our Representative until they work together for "We the People".

    February 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  142. A. in DFW Texas

    Jack, you have a typo. That figure should be 1.8%. Oops. My typo, .18%

    February 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  143. David Sisters OR

    A high number of Congressman must have been asked their opinions for this poll.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  144. honestjohn in Vermont

    There must be a mistake. 18% approval rating is far too high.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  145. Chris Cruz

    Absolutely. In fact the Congress should write a Bill establsihing term limits of eight years just like the Presidents, so that it will counter the Supreme Court ruling that will allow Strawmen to influence the outcomes of national and local elections.

    Chris
    Benson, AZ

    February 8, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  146. Roland Severson

    18% sound right. After all, that’s how effective they are. What we need to do is get rid of air-conditioning on Capital Hill. Look at how much more effective Congress was when they went home for the summer….

    February 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  147. Bruce - Delaware

    We need to start sampling a rating for NO CONFIDENCE. If it exceeds 5% they get deported with no retirement and be banned from government related jobs or any lobbying whatsoever for life.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  148. Kevin in Massachusetts

    They stink, period. "0" rating unless you will allow negatives. No more life long polititions, no more pensions. Term limits, pay limits, Social security, no airplanes. Make them remember they WORK FOR US!!!

    February 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  149. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    No, what is sad is that the right has made the left so fearful of doing anything thing that could help all of our people, if they try the right take the opposite side to say that it is bad for America. Case in point if the left tries to create more jobs the right say that it is bad to spend any TARP money to help small business create jobs. If we try to create clean energy to free us from foreign oil they say that it is Communism or Socialism and Anti-Capitalistic.

    No matter what the Republicans are against anything that does not give all the tax breaks to the rich or give monopolies to companies that will not do anything to help free us from foreign oil. That is why they keep harping on nuclear energy, which is not cost effective at 10 billion per plant and takes 10 years to come on line, we can build Wind-Turbines and Solar Farms today at fraction of the cost so why wait!

    February 8, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  150. stevegee

    The poll referenced is way too generous - Congress should receive a 0% approval rating. They are supposed to be stewards of our country, yet they have done zero to protect the American Dream. In fact, all the bubbles that burst were caused by politicians meddling with free enterprise. Thanks for nothing!

    stevegee in philly

    February 8, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  151. David

    David from Anchorage, Alaska.

    I think 18% approval rating for Congress is much too high. I can't see how 1 in 5 people could possibly approve of the job Congress is doing. All I'm seeing is an inflation in the amount of bipartisanship that plagued this country for years. When our elected congressmen and congresswomen are being pigeon holed into a simple "yay or nay" votes on a bill primarily written by senior dems like Harry Reid, its no wonder republicans and independents feel alienated from the whole process. We need to take a serious re-look at this bill, and maybe a serious re-look at how congress operates in general.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  152. Allen in Hartwell GA

    February 8th, 2010 6:04 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Jack, obviously the number is WAY TOO LOW. Look at the re-election rate. I don't know who was polled, but they don't represent the voters of this nation.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  153. Ivy from Houston

    Jack
    Politicians do thing for political reasons that make little sense to us mere mortals. I don’t know how to rate congress because I don’t understand why they do what they do. There is so much need in this country but all we getting is a Keystone Kop episode . So is 18% to high to low I don’t know I rate them as confused or maybe selfish.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  154. Jeff in Minnesota

    Aks anyone, it's always the other guy's Senator or Representative that is the problem. And that is the problem. Taken collectively, they are all the problem. This is why term limits need to be put in place. Without term limits, you get what we have today, a congress beholden not to the people, but the narrow focused groups that pay for the congress to get re-elected. While these groups supposedly represent the people, they only represent their particular political view on a very narrow subject and neglect society's total view. This is how prohibition got enacted and we all know how well that worked out.

    February 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  155. marion/Birmingham,al

    How can they even function? One would wonder with all the secret deals and bribes going on behind closed doors, where all the change are we were promised?

    February 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  156. Mark

    Yes, but only by about 17%.

    Mark
    OKC, OK

    February 8, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  157. Rick

    Not bad,, for one year of service,,, give it time, Jack.!!! Rick, Pinckney; Mi..

    February 8, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  158. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    That 18% approval your talking about, isn't that what congress approves for themselves every year when they vote on a raise for themselves?
    I think if Congess is at only 18% approval they should only recieve 18% of thier pay.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  159. Steve

    Until our Congress (Republicans and Democrats), learn how to govern without being paid off by Corporate businesses, their ratings will never be low enough.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  160. Bob in Kansas City

    No, 18% is about right, they do some good deeds when its to the benefit of the rich and corporations.....now if we can manage to replace all of them in the next several elections things will improve.

    Bob
    Kansas City, Mo.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  161. Norm

    Regardless of their poll numbers, in November of 2010, they will all be voted out!

    The message of the American people to the 100 Senators and 435 House Members is simple. Dust off your resumes and start packing!

    February 8, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  162. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Jack,
    With their current behavior? – YES!
    President Obama was swept into office with a mandate from the people. He has been working to try and deliver on his campaign promises and been met by Republican (and Democrat) obstructionists, intent on keeping America from getting what it voted for.
    I have to give Republicans credit for doing such an excellent job of selling their obfuscations and outright lies about the "consequences" of this President's agenda, they are good salespeople. They are, unfortunately, not doing the PEOPLE'S business, they are taking corporate money to preserve their fat profit margins, no matter how bad it is for "We The People."

    February 8, 2010 at 7:19 pm |
  163. makgroom

    It is absolutely never too late...since when is it a waste of time to maximize research and groundwork? Obama deserves credit for going the extra mile to reach his goal for successful health care reform.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  164. Trisha from GA

    Yep. It is like gridlock up there. Let's throw them out and start over!

    February 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  165. David Coffield

    This is exactly the way our system is suposed to work? Is it not?... Our founders created a systematical government that is fused between state and federal governments, and seperated by divisions and courts. We are given the freedom of lobbying, protests, and more important a system of checks and balances between branches. BUT! As our political parties have become more polar in their views, and as our Single Member Districts (for voting) discouarges third parties...our Republic becomes non-responsive and inefficient. This has directly created our bureaucratic legislative body, that has continued to show lack governance.

    David Coffield
    Political Science Major
    Samford University
    Birmingham, AL

    February 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  166. Paul New Port Richey, Fl

    18% is a gift.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  167. DAVE H

    Yes, their rating should be zero. We desperately need term limits and a cap on funds received (front door or back door) from lobbiest. If Congress does not pass laws to get around that disasterous Supreme Court decision, they should all be gone sooner than later.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  168. Lia in Florida

    It depends on which side of the fence you're on, Jack. If you like paying for representation that reduces itself to using a one-word vocabulary and throwing together generalized high school term papers for over-reaching national policy, then you probably think the GOP is doing its job. Or, if you like representation that rewards bullies for constantly disrupting progress, then you're probably a happy Dem. Come November, the will of the people will be heard over the din of egoism.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm |
  169. darcy

    This ANTI-GOV everything stuff is truly being to unravel the country

    Hell-o everyone knew for years that they were slow...now we see why and some laws should be changed to suit the times

    This bashing everyone has all think that everyone in Washington is a CROOK

    Start by getting rid of LOBBYIST PERIOD...get money out of the picture....we KNOW they have hands in their pockets...and they are thumbing their noses at us....I seen Insurance people sit right beside Congress member what the hell

    Appproval rating by who...the proganda machine

    Funny never heard of such hatred towards the gov UNTIL President Obama was sworn in.....strange is it not

    This is lessons and new laws must begin...

    I beg to differ....

    February 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  170. Alice NEWYORK

    Yes YES YES! They both stink like a dead skunk! Shame on them that they care about themselves and not the office they ran for representing the people of this great country

    February 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
  171. Simonsays-Orlando

    I'm shocked that 18% of the population is idiotic enough to think that there is anything but self interest and incompetance running rampant through congress.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  172. Lucy, Austin, Texas

    A little less talk and a lot more action just might improve their rating to 20%. Americans have been sold out to big business by Congress for generations. Stop allowing lobbyists and just maybe our Congress woould be responsive to the needs of the American public instead of the wishes of CEO's, corporate bonuses, and kickbacks. The corporations got bailed out and they just got richer and the public lost more jobs or paycuts. It is time to bailout the middle class.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:41 pm |
  173. annie against biased news

    It is too high by about 17.5%.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  174. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    I don't get an 18 percent approval rating if I go to work and don't do anything. I get fired. That's what needs to happen to them. The ones we have are too entrenched in party politics. They are more worried about getting themselves re-elected than doing what is right for our country. They aren't willing to stand up to the banks and corporations because they want the contributions that they get from these big donors. They sold us out! They deserve a negative rating!!

    February 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  175. Jim

    Yes Jack. I think 18% is too high for a collective group of do nothing people who get their pay checks from special interest groups and ignore those who elected them. What a bunch of gutless losers.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
  176. John DeMartini

    18% is incredibly high. It hasn't mattered which party is in the majority for at least the past four administrations. Except for irrelevant differences, our great nation just keeps marching towards destruction.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  177. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    It is too high for the Republicans, and any Democrats who toady to the lobbyists and their corporate donors. Corporate control of public policy is a major culprit, with a minor going to the news media who will even cover Sarah Palin for something to get ratings.

    February 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  178. Nicholas Weber- Green Bay, WI

    18% is too high in my opinion. Why would anyone approve of a Congress that doen't get anything accomplished? We elect people to Congress to get things done and make sure that our country is a well-oiled machine. Neither of these things are being accomplished. Americans know that Congress has been this way for quite some time and you can't blame citizens for being apathetic when it comes to voting. I hate to see political stagnation. America used to make democracy appear to be a wonderful thing. Are we still setting that example? No.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  179. david ( seattle)

    when you consider the morality of our senate comes from a man who claims a brothel owner set him straight ( harry reid nevada), the progress cant be made with present leadership.... purge the incumbents,, give our democracy moral leaders we sacrifice for....NOW!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  180. Ruth

    When it comes to an appropriate approval rating for Congress, anything that doesn't include a well charged cattle prod, operated by a citizens assigned to each elected official it too high. They need to be prodded everytime they fail to listen to the people who elected them. I'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers to remind the members of Congress that they work for us.

    Ruth
    NC

    February 8, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
  181. Ken in NC

    Jack, an 18% approval rating for Congress is so low that members can stand on it and still have to look up to see the under side of a snake. It is, however, more than they deserve when you look at how childish they have acted with our lives, health and money.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm |
  182. Linda in Arizona

    Who are these mythical 18% who approve? I'd like to hear them defend their position.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
  183. Chad from Los Angeles

    For the Senate it is. The Senate is the problem mostly. The house is more representative of the country so it actually tries to get stuff done, but the Senate is where progress stops.

    There is something fundamentally wrong when the Senators of California having the same power as Senators for states like Montana or Alaska. The system is flawed.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  184. Julie of Austin, TX

    No that sounds about right. I would assume that at least 18% are complete idiots.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  185. Swells

    Yeah Jack, but only by 18%

    February 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  186. Stephi, Los Angeles, CA

    Of course not Jack! We need all the laughs we can get! They can all get together with Sarah Palin and have a Clown Fest. Ronald Mac Donald your days are numbered!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  187. Pete, Ashford CT

    Without a doubt, it is. We need to boot them all out and start over with people that care, with common sense, and not pay them any more than the average of the people they represent.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  188. Moby, Detroit, MI

    Jack,

    I have a hard time believing that 1 out of 5 people still approve what congress has been doing. I guess there are more lobbyists out there than I thought.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  189. jim

    Yes, as it indicates almost one in five Americans is an imbecile.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  190. Jim

    If you had the life and perks of our legislators would you
    want change? Can you say "term limits" it's time.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  191. Navy Davy

    About 17% too high!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  192. Pamela Qarbaghi

    Want to improve your rating, Congress? Try abrogating free trade, putting tariffs back on goods and services, and bring all our American jobs that have been offshored back home.

    Still out of work and not understanding why my job was given to an Indian woman.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
  193. Sean

    18% is way too high. Subtract another 15% more and we should be in the ball park...maybe still too high. Palin belongs in Congress. That's probably where she'll be most productive, blowing hot air and doing nothing. She has my vote.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  194. Karen (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

    The 18% approval rating means nothing. It doesn't matter who has the majority of seats, it is all about blaming the other party for everything that is going wrong, while doing nothing to alter the situation. The funny thing is we elected a President who was elected to the Senate and then spent the two years he was a Senator campaigning for President. Move forward one year and he STILL HASN'T STOPPED CAMPAIGNING and blaming the past administration for all the wrongs. The only way it will stop is if we throw out all the career politicans and get some people who actually have worked for a living elected.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  195. Dave from San Jose

    I just want to know what Congress has done for the 18% that approve of them because they have certainly not done anything positive for the remaining 82%

    February 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  196. Shiv Patel

    We need to remove all those old farts, and replace them with young, fresh congressmen who are willing to help the country and not line their pockets! And those old ones that messed this country up so bad, should join the unemployment line and feel our pain! Yes, 18% is too high for those crooks with suits!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  197. Marietta

    Yes 18% to high just like unregulated Insurance premiums.. I ask is the Insurance Industry the major contributor in destroying the Health of the Economy of the Nation and job lost? Because of their excessive greed for profits removing money, purchase power of its citizens who are the labors and consumers. Where citizens money could be spent else where , on home purchasing, cars, retail products, entertainment, travel, all house hold products.
    Which insurance industry also forces Manufacturing. because of low product demand, are forced to lay off, job loss, labor wages cut, even forced to close shop or move over seas..not to mention loss tax revenues

    February 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm |
  198. Astara Knowley

    Eighteen percent is way too high. Congress hasn't done anything for the people in years...in fact, they haven't done anything in years. It is time to have term limits in the Senate and the House, just like the Presidency, and get rid of some of the "lifers" that are only concerned with lining their pockets with lots of gold! It is time for us to demand a new situation in Washington, not just with the President.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  199. margaret joswick

    Zero might be better. I'm a very disappointed Democrat, but the party of no is even worse. Can't we all just get along and get something done for a "change". I'm afraid with the Supremes' ruling that the party of no will continue to gain strength with nothing to offer to help anyone but the corporations and already wealthyt.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  200. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Jack,
    with an 18% approval rating, you know it's time for a "change". I'm confident that the Republicans will win back Congress in November. President Obama's staff should be telling him that the opposing side always gains control of Congress at least once with every administration.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  201. S.S.

    18% is embarassing. So are the representatives.
    But then againn, most of the people who don't approve aren't basing their opinions on anything. Its just a gigantic political bandwagon for most, and if the 18% approval rate isn't educated as I'm 500% sure its not , it shouldn't mean anything. If the people who don't approve, approve of someone like Sarah Palin or any other figure as equally embarrasing as Congress, then this poll is completely useless.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  202. Gary McGarvie

    way too high-get rid of them and elect new people with term limits

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  203. Paul, South Carolina

    I must give credit where credit is due. If the government is lost in the woods, the democrats are still wandering around aimlessly while the republicans are marching united... in the wrong direction. 18% sounds about right for a group of individuals who can't get their act together. Face it, congress is a hopeless place regardless of who's in charge.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  204. Marc M.

    Yes, Once again a do nothing congress. All bark and no bite. Go Independence!!! Go Lou Dobbs!!!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  205. Carlos Figueroa, Northern Virginia

    Jack,

    These guys just don't get it. There is no reason whatsoever why the Democratic Congress could not get health care reform passed with the majorities they have in both in the Senate and the House.

    I am a Democrat, and I would vote agains every single member of Congress that has obstructed the President's agenda. they get a 0% approval rating in my book!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
  206. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    If there are 300 million people in this country, I sure can't imagine 54 million people approving of Congress, that's the trouble with sampling, that approval in reality is much less.

    As long as we elect those with the absolutism of a one sided ideology, then we will continue to build walls and create isolation. The fear lies in that not one person in Congress has a recall movement against them, therefore on an individual basis we must be satisfied with our elected officials, but as a group very dissatisfied. It's the old it's not us it's them garbage.

    As long as this continues we'll never get anywhere until we are able to face reality.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  207. Ben Taravella

    I think anyone who follows politics at a National level would agree that Congress is broken. And given that -18% is far too high. If you consider the typical person on the street that may or may not vote, unfortunately today many are so discouraged they have tuned out politics altogether, which is just what Nancy Pelosi wants.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  208. Alexandra Ford

    Jack, I think the American public has become disenchanted with the acts (or lack thereof) of our legislators. However, many people are blaming President Obama for not being the leader. Here's my problem with that: are we supposed to believe that these people need one? I thought we taught them how to be leaders back in grade school. Don't you think that 20-50 years later they should be able to figure it out?

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  209. Thomas Green

    Hey Jack dont compare clowns to congress. Clown are mostly funny and at the least make balloons for kids on their birthday.

    On the Bounce
    Borsh The Trampoline Guy
    oh I am on youtube

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  210. Glenn from San Antonio

    Yes, 18% is too high. The numbers should be somewhere in the single digits which puts it where it belongs-down near the whale dung at the bottom of the ocean. We need term limits real bad!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  211. chris

    yes 18 percent is way too high i don't know what to suggest eiter make them that support congress to pay more in taxes or send them in to rehab for help

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  212. Charles

    18% reflects unhappiness that more isn't being done–but do any of those surveyed think they can do better? Have any of us been in meetings where 5 people can't agree? Everyone can agree that there's a problem, but often people can't agree on what the solution should be. We can be unhappy with Congress, but let's respect the difficult of the job also.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  213. Al (Virginia)

    Where the hell did you find 18% of the population who approve of congress. I smell acorn"s slimy input.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  214. Jared Blackstone

    It would be easier, Jack, to just tell us what to think. Ask real questions. Second, the lagging polls for this Democratic Congress are so low entirely because of health care reform. In reality, Congress has been one of the most productive since the 89th Congress in 1965-66, and President Obama has been the most successful president at advancing his agenda in years. Granted, health care reform has been slow (sometimes painfully so), but we're on the doorstep of the single biggest piece of social legislation in decades. It's natural to be caught up in the ups and downs of the process - it's that important - but let's not lose the forest for the trees. Health care reform will pass - as have other key parts of President Obama's agenda - and, sadly, approval of Congress will still be low.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  215. Aaron J Wisconsin

    18%??? Don't they mean 1.8%? and even then I believe it is well too high.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  216. Pamela Qarbaghi

    I wonder if that 18% might just be extended family of Congressional members...they are the only ones who can afford large extended families, after all.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  217. caryl

    Congress has not done the people's business for a very long time.
    They focus on keeping their jobs, raising money and pandering to groups that try to coop patriotism.
    If the congress want to keep their jobs-stand up- do what is right for AMERICA not just a small fringe (either right or left).
    We have seen in the past that when congress stands up and does not care for polls but does what is right for ALL-we Americans know a patriot when we see one and that person usually gets the support they need-
    Congress do what is in the best interest of all Americans and we will support you-don't and it won't matter how mcuh money you have in your re-election fund

    February 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  218. Jeff

    Way too high they all sell us out to fill their own pockets with money from special interest groups.
    Jeff

    February 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  219. Flo

    Who was it that said something about a "house divided...."?
    The terrorists must be just sitting back, licking their lips, bidding their time.
    1 year and there are is only discussions, pointing fingers, the blame game, lack of cooperation and worry about next year's election.
    Has there been anything our leaders have shown a united front on?
    18% is too high and that would be funny if it wasn't so frightening.
    Where is the "United we Stand" part or it?
    Flo

    February 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  220. Tamara

    YES it is to high. The only thing they get done are the things that line their own pockets....They don't care about us...They made that clear long time ago....Our goverment is failing us, the middle and lower class.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  221. Jeff Oberhaus

    18 percent is way to high, you have to get one thing right to have any percentage

    February 8, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  222. J. Frank Nash

    Unfortunately, they are doing nothing so maybe that 18% is too high.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  223. Michael ONeill

    Jack,
    Clowns in congress. Jack,. there you go being to damn kind again. Phil Maer, would no doubt see them as he did Sarah Palin.. just a full blown moron. Michael Patrick

    February 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  224. Doug in NJ

    Simply put, there should be a "throw the bums out rule". 60 days or more at 20% approval rating or less takes a year off the term of a Senator and 3 months off the term of a member of the House. A fire needs to be started under the rears of these incompetent clowns. They always need to be reminded of who they represent. This would be a rock solid way to ensure they do the job of the people.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
  225. Bob Kromer

    18% is a joke. Try 8%! In the real world, private enterprise management is chartered to get the job done or they get fired. These Congressional idiots couldn't run a neighborhood lemonaide stand let alone a $3.8T economy. Let's take 535 unemployed citizens and give them the opportunity to do what common sense calls for.
    btw: ever consider why rich politicians are willing to spend $5M – $10M of their own money to get a job that pays $150K/yr??

    February 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  226. Alan Hagland

    Jack 18% is way too high I could get a preschool class to come to more of consensus. AGAIN CONGRESS IS LACK OF PROGRESS.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  227. Debbie williams

    ABSOLUTELY - Sometimes I get so sick of the grandstanding and the phoney debates and stalling, not even to mention the pork and I want to get off my couch and go fix the problem myself. They make something that could be simple be so outrageous. Most of what they do that we want is simple solutions not all the crap they add into the bills. When will they ever learn? Do Something!!!! This is all we ask, if they can't agree on it all then pass what they do agree on!

    Debbie – Franklin Furnace, OH

    February 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  228. Ray, Florida

    Jack,
    If the majority democrat congress do not get behind the president and get the health care plan passed, the rating will probably get even lower than 18%. If one did not know any better you would think they are all republicans. Have they forgotten why they were voted into office? I wonder!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  229. lou

    It is really great to see people come to their senses. Congress and President Obama are on their watch. Their wanted the jobs and had the solutions. Hopefully, with both parties( as in ma if I may boast)the talk to talks will really be out to walk the walk out. So hopefully 18% may be high' Oh God , what a message that would bring to all.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  230. Richard A. "Red" Lawhern

    Those who approve of the clowns in Congress, simply can't be listening to the nonsense they've done. The least bad of all the bad choices next November will be to throw the bums out - Democrats and Republicans alike! Clean Sweep!

    If we are ever to free our Congress from the hammer lock that large corporate interests exercise over it, then this year, let's send in a crop of amateurs and pass legislation for term limits.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
  231. Philip White

    18 % is way too high!
    Support the 28th Amendment (see below)

    INSULT TO INJURY!!!
    What a wonderful idea. . . shouldn't even be necessary if there was any integrity among our lawmakers. Wouldn't our forefathers roll over in their graves to see what the U.S. has become!

    For too long we have been complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens have no idea that members of Congress can retire with full pay after only one term, that they don't pay into Social Security and that they have specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment). "Ordinary" citizens must live under all those laws. The latest travesty is that Congress will exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered...in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem quite right. We do not have an elite class that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents or whatever. The self-serving must stop.
    This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.
    Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

    "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ".

    February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  232. Gordon Miller

    18% approval - are you kiddin'. Ridiculous. I don't know of a single person of any party, race, creed or religion that likes a single thing Congress has or hasn't done lately!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  233. Claire Melbourne FL

    Hello Jack,

    Yes, 18% is too high....in fact it's time we start docking their salaries for everyday that they don't accomplish something for the American people. If these folks had to work a real job in the real world they would not survive. How about $1000 per day for each of the 535 reps and $1500 day for each of the 100 Senators. All monies go back to the Government to help bring down the deficit that they all had a hand in! So far they owe us 39 days worth just for this year !

    February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  234. Steven Baxter

    Yes it is way to high not only that the Supreme Court also receives a failing grade along with the media. Do we really have a democracy any longer in thie country? It seems like most of the leaders don't give a rats ass about the American people and we sit back and do nothing and are just happy with what ever crumbs trickle out to us as a nation.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  235. Betsy

    18 percent is way too high an approval rating for Congress. I am sick, sick of the fighting and nitpicking from both parties. Betsy

    February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  236. T.M. Thompson

    The only option for me is refusal to vote for ANY Republican OR Democrat at either the local, state, or federal level – for in doing so I feel that I am simply enabling business as usual for these clowns.

    That being said, the American people as just as guilty as the legislators and are now getting exactly what they deserve.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
  237. Maurice

    Yep. It should be more like a 1.8

    February 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  238. Jereme

    The approval rating is too high. I have read much of the tripe here, blaming Republicans for obstructing, blaming Democrats for not having the intestinal fortitude to pass any bills. What is missing from most of the comments I saw was that NEITHER party is willing to do what must be done, and that is to follow the constitution. Congress does not have the constitutional authority to force every person to purchase health care, or to take money from me to pay for someone else's health care, regardless of the circumstances. I wish I could say this is why the Republicans are blocking the legislation, but they appear to be waiting for their own moment in the sun to provide their own healthcare for the US, at the taxpayer expense.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  239. nancy bott

    The american people are disgusted with the way both democrats and republicans are conducting themselves. They are way to busy worrying about themselves and less about what we sent them to washington to do, which is to work together for betterment of the country. Instead they are acting like spoiled children fighting constantly and looking to place the blame on the other guy. Maybe what we should do is throw them all out and start over.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  240. randini

    There is always an 18% nutball-wacko-moronic-idiot factor.In all life forms there are failure rates close to this number,and this is why some gene pools need to be removed.If we can get this down to,let's say,6% you will never see another democrat in the oval office,and that "is" a FACT.We have got to scientifically figure out how to get this done and at the same time we will have to rework the school system in this country.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  241. lynne j.

    I don't know if it is too high or not, but I do know that they're idiots.
    The main problem that they can't get anything done is because most of them come from money. They have never lived on minimum wage. Those that get it are overshadowed. Add that in with Republicans that are not willing to help and the Blue Dog Democrats concerned now over cost nothing will get done. And the lobbyists don't make it much better. We need some real people in there with some backbone. Unless Congress does something about the new lax campaign finance laws, that will never be.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  242. Paul Tolan

    Jack! The white house folks should be ashamed all partys! I give them a -18% really! They are just to costly ,to keep them on the pay roll
    every one gets 50% pay and perk cut! At least till the bills are caught up!! Than we need to take back this country! I want my old America back!
    Paul USMC 64-68 independent

    February 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  243. T.

    Way too high. The Republican's won't support The President's agenda because it flies in the face of their constituants. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin's star is rising even though her double digit I.Q. hasn't. The Demacrat's are holding The President up for millions to finance their own agenda's and roadblocking his initiatives when he say's no: We can't afford it. Let's can the Senate, outlaw P.A.C.'s and lobbyist and make congress vote their conscience based on the merits of a bill and not how often they get to use the lobbyist private jet.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  244. jack lister

    Jack,

    I wonder if anyone was concerned with approval ratings of Benito Mussolini when they drug his body through the streets of Rome.

    Jack...Tulsa, OK

    February 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  245. ThinkerJ

    I like President Obama, but trying to work with a Congress whose only consideration is getting re-elected (whatever the cost) is like dragging an anchor. This Congress is the best argument for term limits that I have ever seen!

    February 8, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  246. Earl

    18% too high! Who is that, their wives and mistresses? The whole problem is twofold: the ongoing Democrat-Republican War that reverse prioritizes everything they should do, and no term limits. By the time rookie legislators learn the ropes, they are corrupted by the old guys who already have proven not only to be worthless to the American people, but take on a spoiler mentality against the opposition, no matter what. I will not vote for any incumbent ever.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  247. Mike Rice

    I believe that the 18 is too high a rating for the approval of the House and Senate. The last year has proven that they are not capable of dealing with any type of real issues. Our present representation is more concern about getting re-elected and putting money into thier own pockets than in doing what is right. It is time for term limits and accoutablity.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  248. steve- virginia beach

    Anything above zero is too high except apparently on election day. Congress and our Presidents have been abject failures at solving our problems for decades. Heaven forbid we expect them to prevent problems. The world they operate in is permeated with legalized forms of bribery, extortion, sedition, and the like. Yet we keep re-electing them, as if every member of Congress is bad except the ones who represent our own jurisdiction. Nothing will change unless we the people change it.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
  249. Pat

    My defintion of congress is a group of elietus people that gave themselves too much pay and to many benefiets to sit on thier ass and squabble. If they lost pay for not doing thier job, they might change thier atititude. They continue to give immigrants our social security and medicare and they never paid into it. If this was coming out of thier retirement package, things would change in a hurry. We the people have had it and will show them at the voting booth. Keep up the good work Jack

    February 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  250. Ron Beehler

    Jack, is 18% approval rating too high for Congress? Is the snow too deep in Washington D.C.? Yes ans yes! You get the drift!Please send some of your snow to Vancouver. Thanks!
    Ron Beehler
    Cornwall, Ontario
    Canada

    February 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  251. Tammy

    If the GOP considers being able to filibuster the democrats it's big achievement for the year they're more pitiful than I thought they were. I also think it's pitiful that the democrats came up with a health care bill that was so bogged down with pages and chapters of if, ands, or buts, it would take a dump truck to throw one copy in the incinerator it needed to be thrown into. While I think Obama is doing a good job with the dung heap he stepped into, congress need to go.

    I am so sick of hearing self-serving partisanship bull I just turn off the TV. I don't need "representatives" to vote on my behalf. Let me vote on the bills myself. We've got the technology to do most of this ourselves. Congress is obsolete.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm |
  252. Jerry

    18% ? Who has that poll ? My poll has them at 9%. My liberal friends have a poll showing them at 68% Should we "average" the polls ? Who cares ? Our congressmen don't believe in polls anyway. Remember Mass. ? How many in D.C. believed the polls that predicted Brown to win ? But they are FUN to talk about.
    Jerry in GA

    February 8, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  253. Jo-Ann

    Cafferty, do you think the approval rating would have been any higher if McCain/Palin were in office? What would they have accomplished? She still acts like a child and scribbles on her hands! Why don't you ask if we the people approve that? Imagine if VP Biden did that...President Obama is needs our support if we as a country are to succeed. We stood by Bush when he invaded the wrong country and told us to spend after 9/11 and treatened us that if we did not support the war, we weren't supporting America. Let's be real and support this President who thinks and wants much better for our country.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  254. MB Sommers

    An 82% dissaproval rating is way too low. When you consider that 5% of Congress' approval rating is probably from Congressional family members and lobbyists, an 18% approval rating is artificially inflated.

    What has Congress accomplished in the past year? Nothing other than to give themselves a raise and to pass a stimulus bill that they didn't even read beforehand.

    I think we should seriously consider laying off all our Congressmen/
    Congresswomen.

    MB Sommers
    Sterling, VA

    February 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm |
  255. Fredrick

    I am a political science major. I know that historically, the sitting president's party loses seats in the mid-term election. So the Democrats should be expected to lose seats because the opposing party works overtime to try and gain midterm seats in order to create the appearance of a climate wherein the American voters appear to be dissatisfied.

    However, I don't thnk I have ever seen a Congress work so hard to undermine the president. Do these grumbling Republicans understant that this is the UNITED States of America not the DIVIDED States of America?

    Tell Congress that we are extremely dissatisfied with their performance, and we want to elect congressmen (Senators and Representatives) who understand team-building and co-operation works best for the American public.

    WE ARE SICK OF DIVISIVE POLITICAL GAMES. Work on creating some legislation to help all of the Americans who are struggling to get through the American recession.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  256. Lancelot

    Jack, as far as I am concern, the 18% is wrong .
    Their report card should be reading a big fat "F" and a -1%.

    What a shame it is putting those guys in office and expecting them to
    work for the people who were elected by the people.

    I say let us replace all of them NOW

    February 8, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  257. Mark Weber

    Jack:

    I like clowns. When I think about those in congress, my view is a bit lower, more like the end of the gastro-intestenial tract. With that said, a single digit approval rating is more in order.

    Mark Weber
    St. Charles, IL

    February 8, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  258. Tim, St. Charles MI

    It would surprise me if most members of Congress could count to 18 let alone understand that 18% means18 out of 100 – I forgot – their paid pollsters could explain that to them – I think

    February 8, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  259. Paul Tolan

    We sent Scott Brown ! Hey its a start I hope?!! Keep it going folks,I dont care what party just put the right pearson in there! Hey everyone this country is playing catch up with the world! I know I have been to the country,s that we are talking about! All of us had better sit up! Where is Lou Dobbs? Where is Ross?
    Love my country! My leaders are no good and its been that way for a long long time! Its time folks!! Throw them out and dont look back!
    Paul USMC 64-68

    February 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  260. Greg M

    When you have an employee who does not listen, does not do their job, is arrogant, is disrespectful, abuses the employers, fails to be fiscally responsible to the company (country); they should be released, fired, let go, replaced. If there are 18% that can be retained, that is optimistic on my part. The only way to cure Cancer, is cut it out, and sometimes you have cut some of the good cells out to be sure to get all the bad cancer cells out. So, in my opinion, 18% is an optimistic evaluation. Throw them all out.

    Greg M
    North Carolina

    February 8, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  261. Barbara Casey - Point Clear, Alabama

    I think 18% is much too high. Congress passed a pork-filled "stimulus" bill that most members did not read, included an increase in pay for government workers in the just-passed budget, and did nothing on the most important issues in 2009: jobs & finance reform. The other issues could have waited.
    President Obama promised a change in how Washington worked. I hoped he would use his power as President and his skills at persuasion to moderate the extremes on the left and the right and work towards the center. Unfortunately, Nancy Pelosi may be his worst enemy. The extreme partisans in both parties still do not understand that most of us want them to work together for the common good of the people and the country; that means actually listening to one another.
    I am tired of the blame-game in Washington, and the name-calling by those who call the moderate voices in their own party “traitors.” That is why I voted for Barack Obama, and that is why I would have voted for Scott Brown.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  262. Zyodice@aol.com

    at one time or another our nation had leaders,with ideas that had principle, not people trying to line there pockets with money to lead us. What would we do if Failure
    was an excuse. Bail me out scotty?

    February 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
  263. O. Rudolph

    Hey, what happened to that global warming? Did Gore and his cronies really kill the global warming? Lets give them a snow shovel and do some snow removal on side walks and driveways every day for a few months. Let them enjoy freezing their buns, at the same time enjoying this global warming. I'll bet they are sitting at some warm resort and laughing at the rest of us who are freezing in all this cold, snow and ice. Doesn't seem much like global warming to me when snow is up to my ears.

    Rudy, .....ND

    February 8, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  264. ken, nj

    Yes 18% it is too high because congress only benefits about 1% of the population.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  265. Cynthia

    I really wish people would stop complaining so much about the performance of Congress. We elected them, so if we don't like what they are doing, we should vote differently in the next election. Or communicate with them . . . let them know what we like / don't like.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  266. Aaron Hildreth

    If you look at individual congressional approval ratings they are much higher because everyone loves their own congressman. Nationwide polls like this are useless because everyone hates every other representative that isn't theirs.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm |
  267. steve- virginia beach

    Sounds about right. 36% of us are socialists waiting for government handouts and half are content with what they've recieved so far.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  268. Linda Brewer, Highland Falls, NY

    The 18% approval rating must also be applied to the electorate. We the people are ultimately responsible.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  269. jcrue

    Re-elect No One.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
  270. Lorna Roberts

    18%, very surprising. None of them have done anything that would reward them with any approval rating.
    All of them are arrogant, beligerant old men and women, who are self seving at best.
    Get rid of the lot of them.
    Lorna

    February 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  271. MaryAnn Armbruster

    It's about right, because there are at least 18% of the population who don't even know what Congress is. I am disgusted at the egocentric behavior of ALL of our so-called 'representatives'. The only things they represent are first, their own intersts, which leads to second, the interests of big business (because that is in their own interest). The people? We're absolutely nothing to them. Term limits are necessary, and by that I don't mean leaving the House to run for the Senate. I mean, serve your term and go back to your regular job for at least five years before you can run for ANY office again OR work for anyone affected by any bill on which you voted.
    It's time the American citizenry smartened up. Anyone who's been sucking at the public tit for more than 8 years no longer cares about the people; they only care about being re-elected!!
    In addition, I would really like to see the media cover voting records rather than sex life. For example, if the media hadn't made such a big deal out of Edwards' book (free advertising), it probably would have just faded away to where it belongs.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  272. Tony

    Anytime the congressional polls goes under 25% hit them where it hurts. IN THE POCKET

    February 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  273. Jacque Parke

    Is 18% rating for Congress too high? Considering Congress has lost focus on what their job is and who they work for, this might be true. We did not send them to DC to point fingers and play the blame game. We sent them there to work for the American people, not the corporations, not the special and off-shore interest groups, but the people...you know, the ones who work sometimes more than one job, live and die for our country, spend little time with their families, and often have failing health because of the little sleep they do get working to make the few who should be the most responsible wealthy. The problem is, they are not responsible. My question is...who is going to step up to the plate? I think the American people deserve more from the people they put their trust in to address the issues.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  274. scott

    I agree 18 % is too high, It is time to turn all of them out. NO MORE INCUMBANTS. if we get together we can replace 50% this November. Only voting for them back, in four years, if they work together until then.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  275. Trina

    I think Congress is acting like children, Democrates are getting back at Republican for the last 9 years, then Republican stomping their feet saying, if you don't do what we say then we're not going to participate at all. Both parties are acting like children just as the Bible predicted.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm |