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13% Give Congress Positive Grades


49% Rate Congressional Performance 'Poor'

Ratings for the current Congress remain mostly negative among voters, and fewer voters share the belief that the legislature has passed anything to improve life in America.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows just 13% say Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Nearly half of voters nationwide (49%) say Congress is doing a poor job. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Voters showed slightly less negativity towards the legislators last month than they had in several years.

In surveys from January 2009 through December 2010, the previous Congress, with Democrats in control of both the House and Senate, earned good or excellent marks ranging from 10% to 23%.  Poor marks ranged from a low of 43% to a high of 71%, reached a month before the health care bill became law. Democrats remain in charge of the Senate.

In the three months since Republicans took control of the House, positive ratings for Congress have ranged from 10% to 15%, while poor marks have run from 42% to 49%.

But just 21% of Republican voters say Congress is doing a good or excellent job, along with 10% of Democrats and seven percent (7%) of voters not affiliated with either major political party.

Eighteen percent (18%) of Political Class voters give Congress positive marks, down from 27% last month. But only eight percent (8%) of mainstream voters do the same.

Just 21% of voters now say Congress has passed legislation over the past year that will significantly improve life in America, the lowest finding in a year. Sixty percent (60%) say Congress has not passed such legislation, while 18% more are undecided.

Democrats and unaffiliated voters are more likely than Republicans to think Congress has passed significant legislation over the past year.

Just under half (48%) of voters think passing good legislation is a more important goal for Congress than preventing bad legislation from becoming law. Forty percent (40%) take the opposing view and 12% are not sure. These figures have changed little over the past several months.

Just 10% of voters believe most members are sincerely interested in helping people, down nine points from last month and the lowest result measured since last November. Seventy-nine percent (79%) believe Congress is more interested in helping their own careers, while 12% are undecided.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of voters believe most members of Congress are corrupt, but 37% disagree. Another 26% are not sure. Voters are a bit more divided on this question than they were a month ago.

Voters nationwide view the top members of Congress a little more favorably this month, with House Speaker John Boehner earning his highest positive rating to date.

It's been over two months since Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, and they are now trusted more than Democrats on nine out of 10 important issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports.

The number of voters who believe politics inside the Beltway will become more partisan over the next year has reached its highest level in nearly six months.

Most voters still want the national health care law repealed, and the number who are at least somewhat confident that repeal will happen is at the second highest level since the law's passage in Congress a year ago.

Republicans hold an eight-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending March 20, 2011.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site's content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.

Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen , president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 22-23, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
March 22-23, 2011

How would you rate the way Congress is doing its job?









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