In Depth: Topics A to Z

Congress and the Public

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job? 2003-2010

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job? 1974-2002

Trend: How much trust and confidence do you have at this time in the legislative branch, consisting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives?

Trend: Confidence in Congress

Do you think having a new Republican leader in Congress will make Republicans more successful in getting legislation they favor passed into law, less successful, or will it not make much difference?

Trend: Would you say that your member is/most members of Congress are corrupt or not corrupt?

Trend: Would you say that your member is/most members of Congress are focused on the needs of special interests or focused on the needs of constituents in your district?

Trend: Would you say that your member of Congress is/most members of Congress are generally out of touch with average Americans or generally in touch?

Trend: Who do you want to have more influence over the direction the nation takes in the next year -- [ROTATED: Barack Obama (or) the Republicans in Congress]?

Now that the Republicans have won control of Congress in this November's elections, do you think the country will be better off, worse off, or will it not make any difference?

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling their job?

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Democrats in Congress are handling their job?

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the representative from your congressional district is handling his or her job?

What_Should_Member_Do_TableAZ

Know_Party_Controls_House_TableAZ

Know_Party_Controls_Senate_TableAZ

How_Much_Matter_Party_Controls_Congress_TableAZ

Do you approve/disapprove [of Congress] strongly or only moderately?

Trend: What is the most important thing you would recommend be done to fix Congress?

Do you approve or disapprove of the way _____ is handling his/her job as _______?

A-Z

Turning back to Congress, earlier you said you disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Can you tell me some of the reasons why you disapprove of the job Congress is doing? [OPEN-ENDED] June 2013 results

Trend: Do you happen to know the name of the representative in the U.S. Congress from your district? (If yes): What is his/her name? (If give name): Do you approve or disapprove of the way the representative from your congressional district is handling his or her job?

Next, we'd like you to rate the job elected officials in Washington have done this year. Please say whether you think each of the following has done an excellent, good, fair, or poor job this year. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

2011 Dec 15-18
(sorted by "excellent")


Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor


No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

President Barack Obama

8

24

28

39

*

The Democrats in Congress

3

15

34

47

2

The Republicans in Congress

2

10

36

51

2

* Less than 0.5%

Next, I'm going to read a list of actions Congress could take this year. Please say whether you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose Congress doing each of the following this year. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

2011 Jan 14-16
(sorted by "total favor")

Total
favor

Total
oppose

%

%

Pass an energy bill that provides incentives for using solar and other alternative energy sources

83

15

Pass a bill to overhaul the federal tax code

76

14

Speed up the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

72

25

Pass an energy bill that expands drilling and exploration for oil and gas

65

33

Approve a free-trade agreement with South Korea

53

35

Pass stronger gun control laws

49

50

Take steps to deny automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S. whose parents are illegal immigrants

44

54

Pass a bill to give some illegal immigrants living in the U.S. a path to legal status

43

55


Do you think Congress has accomplished more this year, less, or about the same as it has in the past few years?

More

Less

Same

No opinion

%

%

%

%

2010 Oct 21-24

23

37

35

5

1994 Oct 7-9

10

36

51

3

(CNN/Time)

1993 Dec 2

24

16

56

4

Now, thinking back on some of the major pieces of legislation Congress has passed in the last two years, would you say you approve or disapprove of -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

2010 Aug 27-30
(sorted by "approve")

Approve

Disapprove

No opinion

%

%

%

Increased government regulation of

61

37

3

banks and major financial institutions

The economic stimulus package

43

52

5

Government aid to U.S. automakers that

43

56

2

were in danger of going bankrupt

The healthcare overhaul

39

56

5

Government aid to banks and major financial

37

61

2

institutions that were in danger of failing

Overall, how much do you think Congress has accomplished this year -- a great deal, a good amount, not too much, or nothing at all?

Great
deal

Good
amount

Not too
much

Nothing
at all

No
opinion

2007 Oct 12-14

4%

19

55

21

1

(Asked of those who say Congress has not accomplished very much or nothing at all this year) Do you think this is mostly the fault of -- [ROTATED: the Democrats in Congress, the Republicans in Congress] -- or do you think both are equally at fault?

Democrats

Republicans

Both
equally

Neither
(vol.)

No
opinion

2007 Oct 12-14

12%

13

73

1

1

(vol.) = Volunteered response

Do you think the policies being proposed by -- [ROTATED: the Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate/the Democratic leaders in the U.S. House and Senate] -- would move the country in the right direction or in the wrong direction?

A. The Republican leaders in the U.S. House and Senate

Right direction

Wrong direction

No opinion

%

%

%

2007 Jan 5-7 ^

35

54

11

2006 Jan 6-8

40

50

10

2005 Feb 4-6

50

36

14

2001 Aug 24-26

49

38

13

1999 Oct 8-10

54

35

11

1998 Nov 13-15

43

40

17

1998 Oct 23-25

47

33

20

1998 Jul 7-8

43

28

29

1997 Dec 18-21

44

36

20

1997 Apr 18-20

46

39

15

1996 Apr 9-10

45

41

14

1995 Dec 15-18

44

44

12

1995 Nov 6-8

44

41

15

1995 Sep 22-24

41

44

15

1995 Mar 27-29

53

37

10

1995 Feb 24-26

52

33

15

1994 Nov 28-29

55

27

18

^ Asked of a half sample

1994-1999: Asked as a stand-alone question

B. The Democratic leaders in the U.S. House and Senate

Right direction

Wrong direction

No opinion

%

%

%

2007 Jan 5-7 ^

59

27

14

2006 Jan 6-8

44

43

14

2005 Feb 4-6

41

43

16

2002 Nov 8-10

47

36

17

2001 Aug 24-26

51

36

13

^ Asked of a half sample

Who do you want to have more influence over the direction the nation takes in the next year -- [ROTATED: George W. Bush (or) The Democrats in Congress]?

Bush

Democrats
in Congress

Both/
Neither (vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2007 Jan 5-7 ^

32

63

4

2

2006 Nov 9-12

31

61

6

2

2002 Jan 11-14 ^

59

36

2

3

2001 Jul 10-11

50

38

9

3

2001 Jun 8-10

48

41

6

5

2001 Feb 9-11

48

41

8

3

(vol.) = Volunteered response

^ Asked of a half sample

Do you think the country would be better off if the Republicans controlled Congress, if the Democrats controlled Congress, or would the country be the same regardless of which party controlled Congress?

Republicans

Democrats

Same
regardless

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

2006 Jun 23-25

18

32

48

3

2004 Mar 5-7

25

31

39

5

2002 Nov 8-10

28

22

47

3

2002 Oct 31-Nov 3

25

27

42

6

1998 Oct 23-25

24

22

48

6

As you may know, there have been a series of corruption scandals involving government officials in Washington this past year. Do you think corruption in Washington -- [ROTATED: mostly involves Republicans, involves both parties about equally, or do you think it mostly involves Democrats]?

[ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE]

Mostly
Republicans

Both
parties
equally

Mostly
Democrats

No
opinion

2006 May 5-7

15%

76

5

4

Do you think the Republicans in Congress or the Democrats in Congress would do a better job of dealing with the issue of corruption in government?

[ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE]

Republicans

Democrats

No difference (vol.)

No
opinion

2006 May 5-7 ^

29%

41

22

8

2006 Jan 20-22

31%

40

19

10

2006 Jan 6-8

32%

44

19

6

2005 Oct 21-23 †

33%

44

18

5

(vol.) = Volunteered response

^ Asked of a half sample

† Asked in a rotation with other issues

Do you think corruption in Congress is -- a very serious problem, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not a serious problem at all?

[ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE]

Very
serious

Somewhat
serious

Not too
serious

Not a
serious
problem
at all

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

39%

44

15

2

1

Do you think the issue of corruption in Congress should be -- the top priority for Congress to deal with, a high priority, but not the top priority, an important priority, but not a high priority, or should it not be an important priority?

[ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE]

Top
priority

High
priority

Important,
not high
priority

Not an
important
priority


No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

15%

49

31

4

2

How much confidence do you have in Congress to make sure that its members adhere to high ethical standards -- a great deal, a fair amount, not much, or none at all?

[ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE]

Great
deal

Fair
amount

Not
much

None at all

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

6%

35

42

17

*

* Less than 0.5%

How much confidence do you have in Congress to pass meaningful legislation to deal with the issue of corruption in Congress -- a great deal, a fair amount, not much, or none at all?

[ASKED OF A HALF SAMPLE]

Great
deal

Fair
amount

Not
much

None at
all

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

4%

28

44

24

*

* Less than 0.5%

As you may know, some members of Congress travel on fact-finding missions paid for by corporations, trade groups, or other private interests. Some members of Congress also receive meals or gifts from these organizations. In your view, what should Congress do to make sure that such favors do not lead to corruption in government -- [ROTATED: institute a ban on members receiving any gifts, meals or travel from private interests, (or should it) allow members to receive gifts, meals or travel, but require full public disclosure of these]?

Institute
a ban

Require full
public disclosure

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

52%

47

1

As you may know, members of Congress sometimes insert provisions, known as "earmarks," into bills that direct federal spending to projects in their home states or districts. What should Congress do about the practice of earmarking -- should it [ROTATED: significantly restrict the ability of members to place earmarks in bills, allow members to place earmarks in bills as they do now, but require full disclosure of it,] or not change the rules on earmarking?

Significantly
restrict

Allow,
require full
disclosure

Not change
rules

No
opinion

2006 Apr 28-30

41%

41

11

7

How confident are you that Congress can effectively enforce ethical standards on its own members -- very confident, somewhat confident, not too confident, or not confident at all?

Very
confident

Somewhat
confident

Not too
confident

Not
confident
at all

No
opinion

2006 Feb 28-Mar 1

5%

34

33

26

2

Do you think the country would be better off if the Republicans controlled Congress, or if the Democrats controlled Congress?

Republicans

Democrats

Neither
(vol.)

Same
(vol.)

No
opinion

%

%

%

%

%

2005 Nov 11-13

34

46

12

2

6

2005 Oct 13-16

32

45

12

4

7

2005 May 20-22

36

47

9

2

6

2004 Oct 22-24 ^

41

45

4

3

7

2004 Mar 26-28

39

41

7

4

9

2002 Jul 29-31

38

39

9

5

9

2002 Jul 5-8

40

39

11

3

7

2002 Jan 11-14

44

43

3

3

7

2001 Oct 5-6

38

37

11

7

7

2001 Aug 3-5

34

43

10

6

7

2001 Apr 20-22

41

43

6

3

7

2001 Jan 5-7

39

41

7

5

8

1999 Jul 16-18

37

42

12

2

7

1999 Jun 25-27

41

41

11

2

5

1999 May 23-24

36

37

14

4

9

1998 Dec 15-16

30

41

13

5

11

1998 Sep 23-24

35

41

11

3

10

1997 Aug 22-25

37

40

11

4

8

1997 Jul 25-27

37

39

11

5

8

1997 Jun 26-29

34

40

12

4

10

1996 Oct 26-29 ^^

39

42

7

2

10

1995 Dec 15-18

41

41

8

2

8

1995 Mar 27-29

45

33

10

4

8

1994 Oct 18-19

42

39

10

2

7

(vol.) = Volunteered response

^ Asked of a half sample

^^ Based on likely voters

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