Bad News for Congress

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A Gallup Poll out today finds that public confidence in Congress is at an all-time low. As an institution, lawmakers are lagging behind the presidency, television news and even HMOs (though that one’s within the margin of error). Gallup’s explanation:

Confidence ratings for Congress are not only at the bottom of this year’s list, but represent the lowest confidence rating in Congress in Gallup’s history of using this confidence measure. This reflects a confluence of both the historically low standing of Congress in the minds of the public and the overall negative mindset of the American public.

Confidence in several other institutions is also at an all-time low point. We assume that the low confidence ratings measured this year are connected to Americans’ broader malaise with the state of the country. It is not entirely clear what is behind the currently bad mood on the part of Americans, but Gallup analyses show that the Iraq war and the economy are certainly perceived as major problems at this point in time. The very low ratings for Congress suggest that Americans may be upset that their elected representatives have not been able to rectify these concerns as well.