From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Congress' approval rating is higher than it's been in almost 2 years. It's not like they are suddenly loved, but they have managed to crawl out of the gutter, barely.
31% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.
The latest Gallup poll also shows Congress' rating jumping up 12 points from last month. 31% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing now, compared to 19% who felt that way in January.
31% is a long way from stellar but Congress' approval ratings have pretty much hovered below 30% since late 2005. And recently, the ratings have been even more dismal - at around 20% and they hit an all-time low of 14% last summer under the astute leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Gallup suggests the increase this month is due to Democrats looking more favorably upon Congress since the inauguration of President Obama. Democrats' approval of Congress went from 18% in January to 43% this month. On the other hand, Republicans are now less likely to approve of Congress than last month.
It's possible that more Americans are giving a thumbs-up to Congress because they approve of the work their representatives are doing - namely passing that massive economic stimulus bill rather quickly through both houses.
Here’s my question to you: Why has Congress' approval rating suddenly improved?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
They're working more than they have in the past 29 years. At this rate, they may actually earn part of their salaries, but they have a long way to go to actually earn all of it.
Nelly from Fort Lauderdale, Florida writes:
Obviously because of Barack Obama. Look what he's done in four weeks. He's moving, Jack. Fast too, and Congress has to go right along with him. Something Bush wasn't doing.
Jim in Chicago writes:
Simple Jack, with more Democrats in Congress and some Republicans (albeit few) willing to put country ahead of party, we are finally breaking through the obstructionist conservative strategy that has stood in the way of real progress since 2006.
Jeff from Glen Carbon, Illinois writes:
It certainly isn't because we have decided that they are mature adults who can act in a bi-partisan manner.
Phil from Pennsylvania writes:
I believe the approval rating of Congress appears to be rising but really it’s just their disapproval rating decreasing. I have never talked to a single person in my life that “approved” of the actions in the U.S. Congress. So I have to assume this means people are simply less disgusted than usual.
David from Fishkill, New York writes:
Why, Jack? Because even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while. As far as I'm concerned, they still have a ways to go before I trust them.
Pam from New York writes:
It's a mystery to me. If the only prerequisite to a better approval rating is signing a trillion dollar bill that has not been read, discussed, nor debated thoroughly, then God help us.
Congress had an approval rating even lower than President Bush did. When it's that low, there's only one way to go.
They are actually getting something done for a change instead of the usual gridlock. They are also benefiting from the President's popularity.
Let's be fair, Jack. The Democratic side of the Congress is polling better at the moment, mainly because something is actually being done that might benefit the average American. The Republicans, aka the "No We Can't" party, are putting all their chips on the failure of the American economy. Who wants to root for that?
The pace that they are moving at shows that they recognize that something needs to be done, and whatever it is, they are doing it. They are also working long hours to fix our economy and working with our new president.
Could it be that they are finally doing something instead of just complaining & finger pointing.
Because they finally did something to help the middle class instead of their class.
I think because President Obama worked with Congress to get the stimulus legislation passed. The president and congress working together is something that we haven't seen in a while. It would be nice if the whole Congress–even the Republicans–would work on the problems that we have instead of flexing their partisan muscles for the media.
Simple, they're getting things done with Obama's leadership.
Simple. Nancy Pelosi has been out of the country.
Jack: Well that seems to be a simple answer--the Democrats control it all--from Congress to the White House--and the government is bailing out everybody and their uncles.
Uh, maybe because they have done something? Maybe because after years and years of doing nothing, doing anything is a major improvement. Maybe because breaking past the gridlock is better than the alternative.
1. Americans are materialistic
2. Americans like quick fixes for everything
3. Congress is giving away money
I know I am happy that it seems that finally something might be done for the average peoples welfare instead of the welfare of the rich and the corporations.
Congress rating improved because of their concerted efforts to pass American Recovery and Reinvestment package within 4 weeks of the General Election. A marvelous feat indeed in the eys of the common people.
Oh, I don't know, Jack... maybe it's because they've earned it?
Oh, I hadn't noticed.
It's probably due to all the histrionics they been exhibiting on TV.
I see the tin cups reaching out in anticipation of the great american bailout. Wouldn't you be happy and approving of those responsible for coin droping? This would be especially true if I thought I screwd the government into covering for my stupid mistakes.
There is already more transparency of Congress' work via the media to the general public. The US American people are demanding more transparency. We're not happy with the fumbles, including sleeping on the job, and misspending our money of the past eight years. Congress is under pressure from "of the people, by the people, for the people" these days, Jack.
Because they actually managed to pass a bill that we can understand was meant to help us as a whole.
That's one I can't figure out.
The hell if I know, Jack. But the new Caffterty File photo of yourself is
quite an improvement.
Hope and change, Jack, Hope and change.
It should be painfully obvious that this is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to Obama's victory last November. The numbers exhibit the same partisian split that we see in Congress itself. Let's take another look in 12 months time.
Probably because of Obama. People are finally feeling like something useful is going to get done instead of pandering to the rich fat cats on Wall Street.
Jack, You mean congress's performance has improved? I wasn't aware of that.
Because the republicans no longer have the ability to obstruct as they did before Obama was elected president. It will be interesting to see where the ratings are at the end of the year.
Did Reid and Pelosi resign and I missed the memo?
Wel now congress is controled by democrats and got a democratic President. They don't have to listen to Bush beg for what he wants but veto every bill the democrats wanted to passed the last two years and this stimulas showed that. If you take a look at some of the extras you will see that it has stuff in there that demcrats wanted the last two years but Bush wouldn't sign the bills, he just labeled it as pork.
Absolutely beyond me since they are still behaving like squabbling toddlers who haven't learned to share, compromise or work together. Too much finger pointing and theatrics and political posturing instead of working for the people who elected them!
I'm still watching them like a hawk, but I think the general feeling of "at last, someone is doing something" is sort of lighting up the situation – and the fact that they stayed in D.C. and kept late nights didn't hurt either.
That's easy. The new approval rating of 31% means that there has been a jump in the number of people polled who clearly didn't understand the questions they were asked.
Simple answer Jack, no more lying, thieving, self-serving, dishonest Bush bills.
Actually, the Republicans have been nosediving in a Dr. Strangelove fashion, waving their hats, whoopin' and hollerin' all the way down. The improvement is on the Dem side because they're actually beginning to get the work of the people done. It's like an old western,
the townsfolk and their sheriff peering out from windows to make sure the Guys in the Black Corporate Hats are really heading out of town. Still a lot of gunfire and yelling going on, so they have to venture out slowly but surely. But now at least there's hope.
The US people probably realize that while the middle class populations pay and number of jobs has been decreasing the pay for our elected officials (House and Senate) have increased their base pay from January 1, 2000 thru January 2009 by 27.29% ($37.300, annually). Or maybe they do not realize that while allowing businesses/lobbyists to drive US regulations they have sold the chickens inside the hen house to the wolves. Maybe people do not know that we have foreign workers being allowed to enter the US on work visas while we have almost 5 million unemployed people and that these two branches of government removed stipulations and now businesses can bring in foreign workers during even times like these. Their approval rating with me has not gone up!
Well, my guess is that, agree or disagree with what congress is doing, at least they are doing something.
People see how the Democrats are trying to get things done while at the same time, Republicans are trying to block anything and everything the new president and congress are trying to do.
It's all about Obama. He has a way of making people around him look better. Even those snakes in the Republican party who will do anything to try and bring him down. But the WON'T succeed!!
Congress' approval rating will improve as long as they are giving handouts. As soon as the bill comes due and tax rates climb, the approval rating will change.
Gee, Jack, I don't know... you think it's because they passed the Economic Recovery Act despite "Party of No" obstruction?
Is this a trick question?
I want to know how these ratings were obtained. Nobody asked me.
The only way I would give Congress a higher rating of 17% is if Pelosi, Reid, Rangel, and the rest of the incompetents were removed.
Jack, who knows...our country is bipolar when it comes to electing officer holders. It might be that because we now have unified party government and people feel some comfort in that. Maybe we can actually get something done, that is if the GOP doesn't keep crying about bipartisanship, even though they seem to be nothing but partisan themselves.
If you're a Democrat, your Approval ratings are GREAT!! If you're A Republican, the Press are Framing the Conversation, to make it look like Everything Coming Up ROSES. They LOSE-REPUBLICANS!! Just and stop and listen-You are not getting Educated-You are still Hearing The Repeat BOX Recorder-Nothing New to Report-Just The Rainbow and Sunshine!! obama's Wish list! By time we know what's Coming Home-IT"S HERE!!
People are now looking to the government for help out of our dismal situation. The Democrats seem to be working on the behalf of the people. Americans are watching more closely what is happening in Washington. We want government to work as it is suppose to. Congress's approval went up when they started doing the job they were elected to do.
Perhaps the man was wrong when he said that you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Congress has fooled the citizens for decades, and continues to do so. Some day we'll all learn to regret the lack of control that we exercise over our so-called representatives.
Congress' approval rating should not have improved. Makes no sense.
Look again – – they are pitiful.
It's about time they start working for the American people and not for themselve and wall street goons
The simple reason is because Bush is no longer in town.Why do you think the approval rating of the Texas Congress has gone down?You tell me Jack.
Honestly, I have no clue, they seem like a bunch of children who can't play together if you ask me. My only idea would be that maybe people are happier with them because it appears they are working! At least stuff is getting through in a more timely manner.
Because we've figured out a way to get the job done without the Grand Obstructionist Party of NO.
Do Congressional Republicans even realize how irrelevant they are making themselves???
I agree that the approval rating of congress has improved greatly because of the quick work they have done on the stimulus package, as well as a quick response to the new ideas of Barack Obama. Hopefully our congressmen and women can hold onto the trust the public is beginning to feel and can lead us to be a stronger nation.
We used to do these approval rating polls in college. What a joke they were! It's easy to manipulate the results any way you want. Most respondents just want you to leave them alone.
Seems like some folks want to make it sound as if Congress is actually working, when they come off on TV as more divisive than ever.
Because there are less Republican Representatives in the Congress.
maybe with a new adminstration in the white house people have more trust in politicians
Americans have confused any action with positive action. Give it some time, those approval ratings will head back to 18% soon enough.
Until Obama was installed, anything good that Congress might have done would be vetoed by Bush.
Jim, Craig, CO
Because, the Republicans are not always getting their way.
Hey Jack. Congress had no where else to go but up. They know we are watching.
Simple answer, the republicans have lost control, and the democrats are now in the majority, which is what most Americans want. Now maybe we can get something accomplished besides bombing the hell out other people on the other side of the planet. Let's build more bridges, not bombs.
Congress may have got smart and hired onre of the out of work accountants from Wallstreet. The ones who know how to do a little creative accounting. It sure isn't their ability to do what they have been hired to do! That would be out ragous to ask that of Congress.
I think because most people except for their own hard core base, see what the GOP REALLY is and how they are trying to derail what is right now a very popular president. President Obama may not have all the answers, is NOT the "Messiah" that the far right like to ridicule him as being, and has made some errors. The difference is he ADMITS when he makes mistakes, says he will learn from them, and tries to be inclusive when it comes to the Republicans. People do take notice of these things. Now ask what the GOP is polling right now!
Their approval rating went up because none of them were afraid to stand up to Obama's stimulus plan. Even his fellow democrats were not afraid to go up against the new "messiah". That, in my opinion, is very impressive.
Jack, I would like to see the way the question was worded...and what the Demographic was....It appears that people are ready to approve some action taken by Congress-any action– but I wonder if they approve of the limming effect or the inaction/obstruction of the republicans!
Think it is Obama!
Maybe congress is actually looking at issues long blocked by the previous administration like alternative energy, job creation, and healthcare that the citizens has been craving. I also think that the many american feels like their interests have a better chance of being addressed instead of special interests. Personally I still have a wait and see attitude.
Its due to the Mickey Mouse factor.
Mickey taught us that rodents can be cute and funny. Punxsatawny Phil put in his annual appearance earlier this month, now Congress are the only vermin we have left to keep us going through the rest of the year.
The reason the American Public likes congress more is because they are finally able to do something. Doesn't anybody remember how Bush threatened to veto anything that made sense and that benefited the American people rather than the religious right or Haliburton and other war chest donors?
Every time Congress tried to do something positive, Bush would kill it. He would abort any potential American progress.
Because people are basically stupid and believe what they see on TV. We all wish this economic mess would just go away. Anything congress does is like a magician fooling the yokels at a carnival.
Guess their approval rating had only one way to go...
If they'd take another vacation, it would probably go higher yet.
its because they actually seem to be working together for the better of the country as a whole. But it has more to do with Obama
PS been following you all these year since WNBC in NY..keep up the good work
maybe beause they are trying to work together for a change and not letting the world tell them how to fell the speech was about that even if they do not want to work together put the fights away and fight for the country as hard as they fight in congress maybe we wolud have a better country
I believe the approval rating of Congress appears to be rising but really it's just their disapproval rating decreasing. I have never talked to a single person in my life that "approved" of the actions in the US Congress. So I have to assume this means people are simply less disgusted than usual.
Because the democrats are offering more and more socialist programs to people on welfare. The reason we have so many illegals in this country is because our government is paying Americans welfare to sit at home and watch Oprah. Why should we work when our government will pay us to do nothing.
I think the polls are wrong or it depends where you took them. The stimulus package was joke. They passed it without even reading it; and we know why they passed it so quickly. Congress did not want to us to see all the pork that was added at the last minute. Do not tell me you can read over a 1,000 pages in a few hours. CNN polls amaze me. Do you only care about making Obama and congress look good no matter what CNN? Let's see how this stimulus or political pay back package looks in a few months and what real good it has done for the average person. I bet our country will be worse of. Most economist who are not on Obama's economic board think this will not help job growth.
I think that approval of Congress has increased because the age of Congress has also increased. I'm not talking about chronological age, Jack–I'm talking about mental age. Finally, we threw out many of the crying babies and put in place some mature adults that can actually fix a situation rather than just annoying the h-e-double-hockey-sticks out of everybody. On top of that, the donkey has grown in size to become a horse while the elephant has become more like a fat hippopotamus, which may explain the larger approval ratings.
I believe the approval rating of Congress appears to be rising but really it’s just their disapproval rating decreasing. I have never talked to a single person in my life that “approved” of the actions in the US Congress. So I have to assume this means people are simply less disgusted than usual.
Because even a blind squirrel gets a nut once in awhile..
As far as I'm concerned, they still have a ways to go before I trust them...
I'm surprised at the question. The answer is obvious – Bush isn't there to obstruct anything the Democrats want to do. It's more to do with the fact that something, anything, has been done in Congress at all. Now maybe if Obama could just spread some of that hope to the north, I'll be happy.
Congress is finally doing its job. They have been asleep at the wheel as much as anyone. They are charged with regulating commerce, but no one even wants the job of commerce secretary. They took accountability off the table under you-know-who, and were led down the path to war, which is also the path to poverty. We need to get our priorities straight, starting with healthcare. How about that single payer in Canada, eh?
I think congress knows the public is watching them much more closely now and they can't go back to business as usual. They appear to making a genuine effort to do something to help the average American.
the stimulus!! It's the first thing other than a pay raise they've managed to accomplish since being the "majority"
It's amazing how democrats like yourself feel 31% is something to be applauded. From where I come from, it represents a miserable failure. Since our standard of how we measure democrats is so low, I guess its time to bring out the champagne.
I think its the media, this year's election received more coverage than ever before, now everyone's watching. Which makes them dot their I's and cross their T's. If congress screws up the situation room will make sure we see it... Thanks Guys
Improvements comes from not repeating past mistakes. If the Repubs don't want to play fair then they get left behind...that's a good thing. Now, Congress is doing what needs to be done with or without the "Repleicans".
Jack it's really very simple... when Congress gets itself together enough to workout a compromise with the President, good things tend to happen. When good things happen because the Congress is doing their job, people notice.
Contrary to the way I think most people feel, I feel the approval rating for congress has gone up because the Republicans finally did as their constituents asked.....they voted no on the stimulous package.
If our elected officials really wanted to get this economy going, they should have given all adult citizens $25,000 and let us spend it the way we saw fit. You bet that economy would have been stimulated!!!!!! Then we would all be happy.
Because we lethargic americans do not care about congress with a
new man in the White House. After the first 100 days and the
weather warming up, we will get back to congressional activity. It will
be awhile before congress gets a respectable approval percentage.
Simple, with President Obama, a huge majority of Democrats in the House and a large Democratic majority in the Senate, Republican failed policies and obstructionism are no longer the norm.
In addition, the failure of Republicans to meet the Democrats halfway, after Democrats clearly gave on Tax Cuts–which they did not have to do–shows how intransigent the Republican members of Congress remain. Given the Republican fiscal irresponsibility over the last 8 years, their new mantra of protecting taxpayers is seen for what it is–hypocrisy.
Richard, Cupertino, CA
If they go the same way Canada has gone in healthcare they could see a just up to 605 percent approval rating in the future. Americans are tired of going broke and being denied by the insurance until even if the insurance companies okayed the treatment that they needed, they are far sicker and their survivability rate has decreased greatly do to the insurance companies greediness!
It's simple – they've been doing what they're supposed to do – working.
Jack,Really change has come to congress,white house and America.
Dear Jack: the reasons why the Congress improved its credit ratings is a mystery to me. The only thing I can tell you is that The Democrats have many good men, and women to choose as their leaders. During the Bush administration the Democrates leadership especially the House did not do anything to stop Bush to destroy the Country.
president obama inspires confidence in people and congress is finally doing the job they were elected to do except for the republicans who try to wreck everything. president obama may not be sucessful in all his efforts to improve the country but at least he is trying,something the previous president didn't do
It is a mystery to me why or how Congress' rating could possibly have improved! They are a bunch of idiots and Pelosi and Reid are at the head of the pack! Only time will reveal what a waste the bailout plan is and, by then, the US will be in even more debt than the one left to them by George Bush. It's a shame that along with the election of the first black US President, another milestone took place in the US that no one speaks about – the death of a free press and the death of any real intelligent investigative reporting! I'd like to know what the approval rating for the US media is!
Congress is democratic. President Obama is a democrat. While the last eight years weren't the best, Congress acted like a spoiled child. Everything that wasn't to their liking was cast aside like a week old newspaper. Now that the stars have aligned and the party is unified things are actually getting done. Yes, Congress is doing actual work, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now. Actions are being taken, and the American people like to see things done, not just talked about.
A Democratic Congress and a Democratic President amounts to a an opportunity to steer the country in a new direction. Many Americans are more optimistic this arrangement will amount to positive change. If it doesn't, at least we can we tried. Just to veer off that rocky road we were on gives people hope, even if the detour is still a rocky road. Maybe we will at least get some new scenery.
It's very simple. They're getting stuff done.
I have no idea how anyone can believe Congress is doing a better job...By approving a Stimulus with such an astronomical pricetag without a "line by line review of how the money is being spent" is the height of irresponsibility.
If this is doing a better job, we have indeed lost our way as a Country.
QFT, from Clark:
1. Americans are materialistic
2. Americans like quick fixes for everything
3. Congress is giving away money
Pelosi and Reid should be tarred and feathered for turning a serious situation that needs real solutions into a Pork Party for Pet Projects and Social Agendizing. They truly took Rahm Emmanuel's advice to heart, not letting "a serious crisis go to waste."
This was NOT THE CHANGE WE NEEDED, Jack. Plain and simple.
Congress' approval ratings are up because people are beginning to approve of the things that the Democrats are doing now that they were supposed to be doing 2 years ago when everything was being blocked by the Republicans. The GOP is being seen more and more as a party of obstructionists and people actually approve of the ones in power right now.
Jack because for the first time in 8 years congress is actually approving legislation that is for america and not for war
Simple: most people don't care what the Washington-bubble pundits think or say. They look at results and this Congress is getting some by following the lead of President Obama (how much do I love to write "President Obama").
Because Americans tend to like handouts, bailouts and good speeches. Their grandchildren on the other hand will be living in poverty paying off all this ridiculous debt.
Hmm...Congress is borrowing a boat load of money and plans to inject it into our lives. What's not to like?
Approval rating for congress is increasing, because Republican control in Congress is decreasing. Can we just state the obvious?
New York, NY
The last two years, it was actually very hard for congress to get much done. The Democrats could barely talk about introducing a bill before Bush would talk about a veto. Republicans had practically no power to push thorugh anything in the House. Indeed, GOP reps didn't seem to want to vote "Yes" on anything, even bills pushed by Pres. Bush, for fear of either being held accountable or offending their base. When economic times are good (like during the last five Clinton years) people like gridlock because it keeps the government from spending too much money. But when times are bad, people want to see government at least trying to do something.
Let me get this straight...printing a trillion dollars with nothing to back it up is getting congress good marks.
When the dollar falls even lower forcing oil/gas prices to go up more than the 25 cents they already have gone up since the 20th of January we will be a lot better off.
Republicans who stood united against this insanity are not obstructionist – they are heroes!!