PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup’s 2010 Confidence in Institutions poll finds Congress ranking dead last out of the 16 institutions rated this year. Eleven percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, down from 17% in 2009 and a percentage point lower than the previous low for Congress, recorded in 2008.
The Gallup poll was conducted July 8-11, shortly before Congress passed a major financial regulatory reform bill, which President Obama signed into law this week.
Underscoring Congress’ image problem, half of Americans now say they have “very little” or “no” confidence in Congress, up from 38% in 2009 — and the highest for any institution since Gallup first asked this question in 1973. Previous near-50% readings include 48% found for the presidency in 2008, and 49% for the criminal justice system in 1994.
This year’s poll also finds a 15-point drop in high confidence in the presidency, to 36% from 51% in June 2009. Over the same period, President Barack Obama’s approval rating fell by 11 points, from 58% to 47%. However, confidence in the presidency remains higher than in 2008 — the last year of George W. Bush’s term — when the figure was 26%.