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Congress Starts the Year Where They Ended Last Year - With Job Ratings Almost as Low as You Can Go

Majorities also give both parties negative ratings

NEW YORK, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While Members of Congress probably were not expecting a miracle over the holidays and as the new year dawned, they probably were hoping they could start the year a little better than they ended it. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. While last month just 5% of Americans gave them positive marks for the job they were doing, this month that number does inch up, but only to 6% giving them positive ratings while 94% give them negative ones.


These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,236 adults surveyed online between January 15 and 20, 2014 by Harris Interactive. (Full findings, including data tables and comprehensive trending, can be found here)

The leaders of Congress are doing somewhat better, but are still seeing that the jobs they are doing are not viewed in the best manner. Looking at the House of Representatives, just 12% of Americans give the job Speaker of the House John Boehner is doing positive marks while over half (56%) give him negative ratings and one-third (32%) are not familiar enough with him to have an opinion. In July, 13% gave him positive ratings while 51% gave him negative ratings. For Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, she has slightly higher positive ratings at 17% but 55% give her negative marks and 28% are not familiar enough to have an opinion. In July, 18% gave Leader Pelosi positive ratings while 53% gave her negative ones.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, things really aren't much better. Just over one in ten Americans (12%) give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid positive ratings while 45% give him negative marks and 43% are not familiar enough with him to have an opinion. This is similar to July when 11% gave him positive ratings, 43% gave him negative marks and 46% weren't familiar enough with him to have an opinion. Looking at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, just 7% give him positive ratings for the overall job he is doing, 38% give him negative marks but over half (54%) are not familiar enough to have an opinion. This is down from July when 11% have him positive ratings and 35% gave him negative marks; again 54% were not familiar enough to have an opinion.

The two parties in Congress also have a lot of problems as the year starts. Democrats in Congress are actually doing better, with 16% of Americans giving the job they are doing positive marks while over half (54%) give them negative ratings and 29% are not familiar enough to have an opinion. Just under one in ten U.S. adults (9%) give Republicans in Congress positive ratings for the job they are doing while 59% give them negative marks and 32% are not familiar enough with them to have an opinion. In July, 18% gave Democrats positive marks and 51% gave them negative ratings while 11% gave Republicans positive ratings and 56% gave them negative ones.

The Individual Congressman
There is Congress as a whole, there are the parties in Congress and there is the individual Member of Congress. And, just like last month, just one in five Americans (20%) give their individual Member of the House of Representatives positive ratings for the job he or she is doing, while 68% give him or her negative marks. This may be why over half of U.S. adults (52%) say it is time to give someone else a chance while just one in five (20%) say their Congressperson deserves to be re-elected and 28% are not at all sure.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

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This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between January 15 and 20, 2014 among 2,236 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

Q1215, 1220, 1225, 1228

The Harris Poll® #11, January 28, 2014
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive                                                                         
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client's research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
[email protected]

SOURCE Harris Interactive

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