U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) returns to his office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 30, 2013, after the Republican-led U.S. House of...
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

New low! Congress, GOP popularity tanks amid shutdown


Approval for Congress and the GOP hit all-time lows this week as the government shut down after lawmakers could not agree on a budget.

A mere 10% of Americans–the smallest approval rating for Congress in history–said they approve of Congress’ accomplishments, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Monday. Disapproval of federal lawmakers reached 87%.

Just 17% of the country–the lowest approval rating in Quinnipiac University’s polling–approved of the way GOP lawmakers are dealing with current issues, and 74% disapproved, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. That has ticked down two points from the August Quinnipiac results.

Democrats didn’t avoid disappointment from people, either, but their approval rating stood at 32%, up one point from the August poll.

The government closed after midnight for the first time in 17 years after Congress failed to pass a bill Monday that would have provided a federal budget. The public could begin signing up Tuesday for Obamacare, which was at the heart of the debate that led to the shutdown.

Almost half–47%–of Americans were more likely to say the debate about the budget is based from both parties on gaining political advantage rather than on following principle and the future of the government. according to a new Gallup poll. When the government last closed in Nov. 1995, a similar 52% said the debate was political.

Earlier this year in June Americans ranked 16 other institutions–including banks, television news, police, and churches–higher than their level of confidence in Congress, which also dropped to 10% then. The rating was the lowest level not only for Congress, but for any institution on record–-ever.

The country is almost split down the middle in its regard for President Obama’s handling of his job: 51% agreed that he has the leadership and personality expected of a president, whereas 48% disagreed with the statement. His approval ratings were the highest in April 2009 with 75% of Americans having confidence in his role.