Reason-Rupe Poll: Only 17% Approve of Congress' Performance; 58% Think We'd Be The Same or Better if it Met Every Other Year


Some new analysis from the first Reason Foundation-Rupe poll, which was conducted March 24 through April 9 with 1,200 Americans nationwide:

When asked how respondents would rate Congress' job performance, approval barely reached 17%. 18% say they neither approve nor disapprove, and a resounding 61% say they disapprove of Congress' performance….

When asked if respondents believed they would be better off, worse off, or no different if Congress were in session every other year, the most common response at 42% was no different. 36% of Americans thought they would be worse off and 16% said they would be better off. This also indicates that if Congress were to meet every other year, 58% believe there would be no difference or that the country would be better off.

For extensive analysis and complete writeups, go here now. These polls will be released on a quarterly basis and will explore attitudes about government and public policy. For an overview of the project with polling director Emily Ekins, click below.

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  1. 58% Think We’d Be The Same or Better if it Met Every Other Year

    How about never? Is never good for you?

  2. How about if they met every other decade?

    1. At the South Pole.

      On July 4th.

      1. naked

  3. For some reason the Reason-Rupe polling effort has my fancies move from the United States Congress to thoughts of sexual congress. I don’t know why.

    But I digress. That 17% approval lines up with the number of respondents who, in combination, are a) benefitting from state largesse, b) employed by state agencies and c) members of Congress.

    And a part time Congress? Would House members be in session during campaign years or off years? Who would be around to pass that annual federal budget? How are post offices going to be named during the downtime? WHO IS GOING TO PROTECT US FROM STEROIDS?

  4. I don’t really understand the point of approval polls when it comes to Congress as a whole?I mean, it’s one thing if you approve or disapprove of your representative or Senators, but why does it matter if a person approves of somebody that doesn’t represent them?

  5. It would be nice if reason vids didn’t keep crashing my iPad browser…

    1. Apple policy is that you pay both the troll toll and let them into your boy hole.

  6. I think every month Congress is in session a member chosen at random should be fed to wolves on national pay per view telivision.

    1. Stoning. With rocks auctioned off to the highest bidder to pay down the national debt.

      1. Are there any women at the stoning ?

    2. wolves would never eat a congressperson, they do have some standards afterall.

  7. I attribute much of Texas’ success to the fact that it is unconstitutional to legislate in even numbered years.

    1. And the fact the lege is extremely time-limited. You’ve got 140 days to get it done, and after that, too bad. Try again in two years.

      1. The clock saves us from them entirely too often. I think we need to shorten the amount of time they spend in Austin by at least a month.

    2. I agree in general but every session a lot of liberty increasing bills die as they are shelved for things they deem more important. In the past years it has been legalizing poker and this year it looks like its going to be campus carry.

      The other problem of course is that the Democrats know that there is a deadline and do everything possible to waste as much time as possible including running away.

      Overall it is better but frankly the system is irrelevant if the participants are crooked. I think the fact that Texas legislatures return to their jobs is more important. Forcing the politicians to live and work under their own laws probably reduces the severity of those laws. Congress doesn’t even let their members work for free (see Ron Paul and Coburn wanting to continue their medical practices even for free). This changes them from citizen legislatures to professional leeches.

      1. “Liberty increasing bills”

        Would those be repeals?

  8. I’d actually like a Florida length session.

    From Wikipedia:
    “The Florida Legislature operates on a regular legislative session starting on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March for a period not to exceed 60 calendar days. Special sessions are called as needed.

    In 2009, legislators filed 2,138 bills for consideration. On average, the legislature has passed about 300 bills into law annually.”

    6 in 7 laws fail to pass every session. The only thing the lege is constitutionally required to pass is a balanced budget. Add this to biennial meeting and you’ve got a recipe for minimum legislative mischief.

    1. Shit. That was a reply to T just above.

    2. I’d be fine with shortening it up even further. Let’s face it, the vast majority of legal infrastructure is in place. Most of the ‘new’ bills are bullshit that don’t need to be passed. Budgeting is necessary, but most of the crap that goes on at the state level is trying to solve problems that don’t need solving and rent seeking.

  9. Nick, I have to call you on the deliberately distorted statistic. While 58% think “same or better”, 78% think “same or worse”. “Worse” beats “Better” by 36%-16%, i.e. by better than a 2-1 margin. As I see it, that makes the headline rather disingenuous.

    Why resort to a distorted presentation when there’s so much you can legitimately criticize the government for?

  10. 42% was no different. 36% of Americans thought they would be worse off and 16% said they would be better off. This also indicates that if Congress were to meet every other year, 58% believe there would be no difference or that the country would be better off.

    Yeah but it also means that 78% believe there would be no difference or that the county would be worse off.

    The 58% claim does not meet the smell test.

    1. Well, sure…because of that big ol’ 42% that say no different. You could say that “nearly half” think the situation is hopeless.

  11. I think we’d be better off if Congress never met again.

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