New Survey Out On Popularity Of Congress

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February 18, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting —

By now, most people know that Congress isn’t very popular—88 percent of people the Center on Congress at Indiana University surveyed say they have a negative view of Congress, but as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Gretchen Frazee reports, a majority of people now also think Congress doesn’t affect how they live their daily lives.

About half of people the Center on Congress surveyed in 2012 said they thought the work of Congress affected their daily lives. Last year, that number dropped to 33 percent.

Center on Congress Research Director Edward Carmines says those statistics are part of a negative cycle that’s hard to break.

“There’s no doubt that having the public disapprove of it as much as it does, tends to weaken it as an institution. That lack of public support really undermines its ability to do its job.”

But Americans don’t think Congress is solely to blame. When asked to grade themselves on things like how often they contact their congressman and how well they keep up with what’s going on in Congress, they gave themselves D’s.

 “It’s a two-way street here. The citizens need to do more. They realize they aren’t highly engaged and often do not meet the standard for an informed citizenry.”

On the other hand, Carmines says Congress needs to act more professionally and efficiently if it wants to win back constituent trust.


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