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Congress rated lower than Bush.

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Congress Approval Down to 29%; Bush Approval Steady at 33%

Both ratings are slightly lower than 2007 averages

by Joseph Carroll


PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds continued low levels of public support for both Congress and President George W. Bush. Twenty-nine percent of Americans approve of Congress, down slightly from last month's reading (33%) and this year's high point of 37%, while Bush's approval rating is holding steady at 33%. Both the ratings of Congress and the president are slightly lower than their respective 2007 averages. Approval ratings of Congress are higher among Democrats than Republicans, while Bush's ratings are much higher among Republicans.

Congressional Job Approval


It is down to 24% for INDs and REPs.

According to the May 10-13, 2007, Gallup Poll, 29% of Americans approve and 64% disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job. Congressional approval is down 4 percentage points since last month, and is 3 points lower than the 32% average measured during the first five months of the year. The high point for the congressional approval rating so far this year was the 37% approval measured in February. Although ratings are quite low, Americans have been more positive in their assessments of Congress this year than last year, when an average of just 25% approved of Congress.

Even though Democrats now control both houses of Congress, the poll shows that only 37% of Democrats approve of the job Congress is doing right now. These marks are, however, significantly better than those given to Congress by independents (24%) and Republicans (25%). Democrats have been more likely than Republicans to approve of Congress this year, whereas Republicans expressed a higher level of approval prior to the change of power experienced after the midterm congressional elections in November 2006.

So far this year, Republicans' approval of Congress has gradually declined, from a high of 37% in mid-January to 25% in the latest poll. By comparison, ratings among Democrats have shown more fluctuation, ranging between 33% and 44% since January, and are down 6 points this month since early April. More generally, Democrats' ratings of the job the Democratic-controlled Congress is doing are down from a higher point of 44% in February, which is just after the control of Congress switched from the Republicans to the Democrats.

Presidential Job Approval

There has been little meaningful change in the public's rating of the president in quite some time. Thirty-three percent of Americans now approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president, while 62% disapprove. Bush's approval ratings have averaged 35% in 2007, and have fallen within a narrow range between 32% and 38%. Bush's ratings were slightly higher last year, averaging 38%. Bush has not received an approval rating above 40% in any Gallup polling since September 2006.


Republicans continue to be much more likely than independents or Democrats to support the president. Seventy-three percent of Republicans approve of Bush, substantially higher than the 27% approval among independents and the 9% approval among Democrats. Although the three party groups' ratings of Bush's job approval have been quite stable in recent months, since last May presidential approval ratings have shown somewhat more fluctuation among Republicans (ranging between 68% and 86%) than among independents (23% to 36%) or Democrats (4% to 15%).


Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,003 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted May 10-13, 2007. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

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