Congress’s approval rating fell to 14 percent in August, down from 15 percent in July, according to the latest Gallup poll. Disapproval, meanwhile, increased 3 percentage points to 81 percent, up from 78 percent in July.
Congress’s approval so far has averaged 15 percent in 2013, tied with 2012 for the lowest approval since 1974 — when Gallup began keeping track.
Congress’s highest yearly average approval rating came in 2001, most likely due to the response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Approval has been steadily falling since, with a rare boost in 2009 following the election of President Obama.
Republicans should take notice of this chart. Notice the upswings in the early 1980’s and throughout the 1990’s. The results from President Reagan’s economic policies brought Congress’s approval from 33 percent in 1983 to 42 percent by the end of his term. Of course, he did have a Republican Senate and Democrat-controlled House for six of his eight years.
President Bush Sr.’s tax hikes brought approval down before it soared under President Clinton. Notice that approval kept climbing even though spending was cut.
Gallup said that divided party control of congress lead to the fall in approval recently.