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Opinion

Gallup: Congress is pretty much the worst thing we track --- seriously, it's awful

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Congress,Polls,2014 Elections,Richard Nixon,Becket Adams

Congress' approval rating has officially sunk to a 41-year low, according to a report from Gallup.

And it's worse than that: Congress' current rating is also the lowest recorded for any institution tracked by the polling agency since 1973. Obviously, we could see this strong distaste for Congress play a defining role in the upcoming November midterm elections.

The new Gallup survey, which was conducted from June 5-8, shows that a only 7 percent of respondents have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress.

This is a three-point decline from 2013, when 10 percent of survey respondents said they had confidence in Congress as an institution.

For perspective, when Gallup first started gathering polling data on Congress in 1973, the same year Richard Nixon accepted responsibility, but not total blame, for the Watergate scandal, Congress enjoyed an approval rating of 42 percent.

That has definitely changed.

Only 4 percent of survey respondents in the new poll said they have a great deal of confidence in Congress, while only 3 percent said that they have “quite a lot” of confidence.

Meanwhile, approximately one-third of respondents said they have “some” confidence in Congress, while about 50 percent said “very little” and 7 percent said “none.”

Again, of the 17 major institutions tracked by Gallup over a 41-year period, Congress' current 7 percent approval rating is the lowest ever recorded by the polling group.

“Confidence in Congress has varied over the years, with the highest levels in the low 40-percent range recorded in the 1970s and again in the mid-1980s. Confidence rose in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but has declined since 2004, culminating in this year's historic low,” Gallup reported.

On a more upbeat note, Gallup also found that three in four Americans have high confidence in the U.S. military.

A total of 74 percent of survey respondents reported having a “great deal” or “quite a lot of confidence” in the military as an institution, while roughly 20 percent said they have “some” confidence.

Only 7 percent of respondents said they had little or no confidence in the military.

“As is the case with confidence in Congress, Americans' confidence in many of these institutions has changed over time. The current 74 percent of Americans who have high levels of confidence in the military is actually lower than it has been in the past,” Gallup reported.

“Still, the current 74 percent confidence level is significantly higher than the average 67 percent rating given the military since it was first measured in 1975,” the report adds.

The new Gallup survey polled 1,027 U.S. adults aged 18 and older and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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