WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans continue to have a low opinion of Congress, with 19% of the public currently approving of the job it is doing. This is little changed from the 17% who approved of Congress last month and remains within the 15% to 20% range seen for congressional approval since January of this year.
These latest data come from Gallup's survey conducted Sept. 4-12, as the U.S. Senate began confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Congressional approval has averaged 30% since Gallup began measuring it in 1974. The current 19% approval among Americans is well below that average, but similar to Americans' sentiments through most of the period since January of last year. There was a brief spike in approval after the inauguration of President Donald Trump last February, when 28% of Americans approved, because Republicans' approval surged after their party gained control of the presidency and both houses of Congress. However, that was short-lived and fell back to 20% by last April, with Republicans struggling to enact much of their agenda in the early part of the Trump administration.
There has been little change in congressional approval among partisan groups. Republicans, whose party controls both the House and the Senate, continue to have the highest level of approval for Congress, with 31% of GOP supporters currently saying they approve -- compared with 28% who said the same last month. Republicans' approval of Congress is well below their recent high of 50% reached in the days after Trump's inauguration.
Among Democrats, 8% approve, compared with 7% last month. Democrats' current views of Congress fall within the 6%-12% range of approval they have given so far this year. Independents' views are unchanged at 17%, again within the range of approval of Congress (12% to 20%) seen for this group so far in 2018.
Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.