The Corner

Politics & Policy

Congress: The More You Know About It, the More You Loathe It

As House Republicans prepare to select new leaders, they would be wise to consider just how unpopular Congress has become.

According to the Gallup Poll, 79% of Americans think Congress is “out of touch with average Americans,” 69% think is is “focused on the needs of special interests, and 52% think it is corrupt. And for the first time the loathing of Congress as in institution is being carried over to the local representative of voters. Record numbers of voters believe their own legislator is afflicted with the above ills.

Even more interesting is that voter disapproval of Congress seems to go up in direct proportion to how knowledgeable people are about how Washington D.C. works. Among those who answer four or five questions correctly about how Congress works and who runs it, 66% rate Congress as poor or bad, and 7% rate it as excellent or good.

“The fact that the most knowledgeable about Congress are the most critical has important implications,” Gallup reports. “It appears  that Congress cannot merely talk its way out of its low ratings, but rather will need to actually perform better to win back public support among those who are paying the closest attention.”

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