Only seven percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, according to a new Gallup poll.
About one-third of Americans report having “some” confidence, while half have “very little,” and another 7% volunteer that they have “none.”
That’s the lowest level of faith in any major American institution that Gallup has ever recorded. And Gallup has been taking such polls for over 40 years.
Further, the downturn in confidence is ongoing. Last year’s 10% was the previous record low.
For comparison, in 1973 — the first year Gallup began asking the question — fully 42% of Americans said they had confidence in Congress.
Says Gallup: “The current 7% of Americans who place confidence in Congress is the lowest of the 17 institutions Gallup measured this year, and is the lowest Gallup has ever found for any of these institutions. The dearth of public confidence in their elected leaders on Capitol Hill is yet another sign of the challenges that could face incumbents in 2014’s midterm elections — as well as more broadly a challenge to the broad underpinnings of the nation’s representative democratic system.”
These results perhaps aren’t so surprising to those who saw a Public Policy Polling poll last year (reported in the Liberator Online) that found Congress less popular than lice, root canals, cockroaches, hemorrhoids, and colonoscopies, among other plagues and pests.
Indeed, what puzzles us the most is: what’s taking the remaining 7% so long to catch on?