TIME Congress

Yes, Congress’ Approval Ratings Have Hit Yet Another Historic Low

State of the Union Address
Bill O'Leary—The Washington Post/Getty Images President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress, on January 28, 2014 in Washington.

Nearly one in ten respondents said they had zero confidence in the legislature.

Just when you thought Congress’s approval ratings couldn’t get any lower—they sunk to another historic low.

A record-low seven percent of Americans said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. That’s down from 10 percent in 2013 and 42 percent in 1973, the first year of the poll. As recently as the mid-2000s, that figure stood around 30%.

Today, just 4 percent of Americans say they have a “great deal” of confidence and 3 percent have “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, whose budget deadlock last fall resulted in a federal government shutdown. A third of Americans said they had “some” confidence in the legislature and another 7 percent said they had “none.”

If that doesn’t sound grim enough, Gallup says the responses represent the poorest confidence levels in any U.S. institution since it began taking measure. The poll also has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, meaning the actual approval rating could be as high as 11 percent — or as low as three percent.

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