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Congress Approval Ebbs Back to Normal, at 25%

Congress Approval Ebbs Back to Normal, at 25%

Story Highlights

  • Latest approval rating of Congress down from 31% in early May
  • Approval among Democrats drops 15 percentage points

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The small bump Congress received in its approval ratings after passing the $2.2 trillion relief bill has faded. Currently, 25% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, down from the recent peaks of 30% and 31% in April and May -- the latter of which marked the legislative body's highest rating since 2009.


Line graph displaying Americans' approval of Congress. In the May 28-June 4 poll, 25% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.

The latest figure, from a May 28-June 4 Gallup poll, marks a return to normal for Congress' approval ratings. The current 25% is on par with the 22% to 27% range Gallup recorded from October 2019 to March of this year.

Double-Digit Drop in Democrats' Approval of Congress

Americans' overall lower rating of Congress this month is largely due to a 15-percentage-point drop among Democrats; 39% approved of Congress in early May, compared with 24% now.

Approval of Congress also dropped among independents since last month: 32% in early May versus 25% now.

Meanwhile, Republicans -- among whom Congress saw no relief-related increase in the spring -- have maintained their approval of the legislative branch. The current 24% among Republicans reflects no change from the previous poll and is consistent with their 22% to 26% ratings since March.


Line graph displaying Americans' approval of Congress by political party identification groups. In the May 28-June 4 poll, 25% of political independents approve of the job Congress is doing, while 24% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans approve

Bottom Line

Even factoring in the recent peaks recorded in the spring, Congress' approval ratings have generally not been great. Ratings of Congress haven't touched the 50% mark since 2003; they haven't even come close in more than a decade.

Though change elections are generally the drivers of temporary spikes in Congress approval, the increase after the recent relief bill proves that bipartisan work in the midst of a national crisis can improve the legislative branch's standing with the people it represents.

Passing further legislation to address the health and economic crises from COVID-19 may be a key area where Congress can again boost its image. Bipartisanship on police reform may provide another opportunity for Congress to productively address a pressing national issue.

View complete question responses and trends (PDF download).

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