According to information released by Gallup this week, Americans' confidence in Congress as an institution is down to 10%, ranking the legislative body last on a list of 16 societal institutions for the fourth straight year.
This is the lowest level of confidence Gallup has found, not only for Congress, but for any institution on record. Americans remain most confident in the military, at 76%.
The percentage of Americans expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress is the lowest for a trend that dates back to 1973. The high point for Congress, 42%, came in that year.
Confidence in Congress has been at its lowest points for several years, while it was higher in the mid-1980s and in the early 2000s.
Another Gallup report issued this week cited gridlock as the top reason Americans are critical of Congress.
According to that Gallup report:
Nearly four in five Americans in June, 78%, disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, marking the 45th consecutive month that more than two-thirds of Americans have given Congress the thumbs down. Americans' high level of disapproval is less about what Congress is doing than about what it isn't doing: putting aside partisan bickering and getting things done.
The top reason Americans who disapprove of Congress give for their view is partisan gridlock, named by 28%. Relatedly, another 21% cite Congress' failure to accomplish anything or make decisions, and 11% say Congress puts politics ahead of the country.
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