Less than One in Five Americans Say Their Congressperson Deserves to be Re-Elected

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – November 25, 2013 – Another month and another round of headaches for the White House. They finally get through the government shutdown and now have to answer many questions about why the Affordable Care Act’s website was not ready for millions to sign up for health insurance. And, perhaps because of this, President Obama’s job ratings continue their downward movement. This month just one-third of Americans (32%) give the President positive ratings for the job he is doing, while 68% give him negative ratings. This is down from last month, when 35% gave the President positive marks and 65% gave him negative ones.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,250 adults surveyed online between November 13 and 18, 2013 by Harris Interactive.

    While it’s not surprising that just 4% of Republicans but 59% of Democrats give the President positive ratings on the overall job he is doing, what should have White House worried about legacies and Democrats worried about fallout for Congressional elections is that just 26% of Independents give President Obama positive ratings while three-quarters (74%) give him negative marks.

    There are two things that could make the President a little happier. First, there is an uptick in perceived direction of the country as three in ten Americans (30%) believe it is going in the right direction, up from 20% last month; seven in ten (70%) believe things in the country have seriously gotten off on the wrong track. The second is that when it comes to who deserves the most blame for shutting down the federal government, almost half (45%) of Americans blame Republicans in Congress compared to just one-third (32%) blaming President Obama; 7% blame Democrats in Congress, while 16% are not at all sure.

    It’s one year until the Congressional elections

    Congress still sees their approval in the single digits, with just 7% of Americans rating the job they are doing positively while 93% give them negative ratings. This is slightly better than last month when just 4% of Americans gave Congress positive ratings. But it’s not just the institution of Congress that is suffering. Just one in five Americans (19%) give their Member of the House of Representative positive ratings, while 71% give him or her negative ratings. And this is across political parties, as 70% of Republicans, 68% of Democrats and 75% of Independents give their Member negative marks for the overall job he or she is doing.

    Even more ominous for sitting Members is that half of Americans (52%) say, when it comes to their Member of the House of Representatives, it’s time to give someone else a chance, compared to just 17% of Americans who believe their Congressperson deserves to be re-elected. What should give sitting Members some hope is that 31% are still not at all sure. Looking at this by party, 52% of Republicans, 47% of Democrats and 60% of Independents say it’s time to give someone else a chance.

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

    Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!


    TABLE 1

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING – TREND

    How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?

    Base: All adults

     

    TREND

    Positive

    Negative

    %

    %

    2013

    November

    32

    68

     

    October

    35

    65

    September

    34

    66

    July

    39

    61

    June

    41

    59

    March

    38

    62

    2012

    December

    45

    55

    September

    41

    59

    April

    41

    59

    March

    40

    60

    January

    36

    64

    2011

    December

    36

    64

     

    November

    34

    66

    October

    33

    67

    September

    32

    68

    July

    38

    62

    May

    46

    54

    April

    38

    62

    March

    39

    61

    Feb.

    42

    58

    Jan.

    44

    56

    2010

    Dec.

    36

    64

     

    Nov.

    38

    62

    Oct.

    37

    63

    Sept.

    38

    62

    Aug.

    40

    60

    June

    39

    61

    May

    42

    58

    April

    41

    59

    March

    41

    59

    Jan.

    40

    60

    2009

    Dec.

    41

    59

     

    Nov.

    43

    57

    Oct.

    45

    55

    Sept.

    49

    51

    Aug.

    51

    49

    June

    54

    46

    May

    59

    41

    April

    58

    42

    March

    55

    45

    Positive = excellent or pretty good. Negative = only fair or poor.


    TABLE 2

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING – BY PARTY & IDEOLOGY

    How would you rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Ideology

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE

    32

    4

    59

    26

    12

    35

    55

    Excellent

    6

    1

    12

    3

    2

    6

    10

    Pretty good

    27

    3

    47

    23

    10

    29

    45

    NEGATIVE

    68

    96

    41

    74

    88

    65

    45

    Only fair

    28

    18

    29

    31

    16

    34

    30

    Poor

    40

    78

    12

    43

    71

    32

    15

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 3

    CONGRESS’ OVERALL JOB RATING

    How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Ideology

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE

    7

    7

    9

    5

    7

    7

    8

    Excellent

    1

    2

    2

    1

    2

    1

    1

    Pretty good

    6

    5

    7

    4

    5

    6

    7

    NEGATIVE

    93

    93

    91

    95

    93

    93

    92

    Only fair

    26

    28

    28

    20

    27

    27

    23

    Poor

    67

    65

    63

    75

    66

    66

    69

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding


    TABLE 4

    CONGRESS’ OVERALL JOB RATING – TREND

    How would you rate the overall job Congress is doing?

    Base: All adults

     

    TREND

    Positive

    Negative

    %

    %

    2013

    November

    7

    93

     

    October

    4

    96

    September

    7

    93

    July

    9

    91

    June

    9

    91

    March

    6

    94

    2012

    December

    8

    92

    September

    10

    90

    April

    11

    89

    March

    9

    91

    January

    6

    94

    2011

    December

    5

    95

     

    November

    5

    95

    September

    6

    94

    July

    8

    92

    June

    11

    89

    May

    13

    87

    March

    10

    90

    February

    14

    86

    January

    16

    84

    2010

    December

    11

    89

     

    November

    13

    87

    October

    11

    89

    June

    14

    86

    April

    16

    84

    March

    10

    90

    Jan.

    16

    84

    2009

    Dec.

    17

    83

     

    Oct.

    16

    84

    June

    25

    75

    March

    29

    71

    2008

    October

    10

    86

     

    August

    18

    77

    June

    13

    83

    February

    20

    76

    2007

    December

    17

    79

     

    October

    20

    77

    April

    27

    69

    February

    33

    62

    2006

    September

    24

    73

     

    May

    18

    80

    February

    25

    71

    January

    25

    72

    Positive = excellent or pretty good. Negative = only fair or poor.


    TABLE 5

    RIGHT DIRECTION OR WRONG TRACK – TREND

    Generally speaking, would you say things in the country are going in the right direction or have they pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?

    Base: All adults

     

    TREND

    Right Direction

    Wrong Track

    %

    %

    2013

    November

    30

    70

     

    October

    20

    80

    September

    29

    71

    July

    34

    66

    May

    39

    61

    2012

    March

    34

    66

     

    January

    27

    73

    2011

    August

    16

    84

     

    May

    39

    61

    2010

    December

    29

    71

     

    April

    39

    61

    2009

    August

    46

    54

     

    January

    19

    72

    2008

    October

    11

    83

     

    February

    23

    69

    2007

    December

    18

    74

     

    February

    29

    62

    2006

    May

    24

    69

     

    February

    32

    59

    2005

    November

    27

    68

     

    January

    46

    48

    2004

    September

    38

    57

     

    June

    35

    59

    2003

    December

    35

    57

     

    June

    44

    51

    2002

    December

    36

    57

     

    June

    46

    48

    2001

    December

    65

    32

     

    June

    43

    52

    2000

    October

    50

    41

     

    June

    40

    51

    1999

    June

    37

    55

     

    March

    47

    45

    1998

    December

    43

    51

     

    June

    48

    44

    1997

    December

    39

    56

    April

    36

    55

    1996

    December

    38

    50

    June

    29

    64

    1995

    December

    26

    62

    June

    24

    65

    1994

    December

    29

    63

    June

    28

    65

    1993

    June

    21

    70

     

    March

    39

    50

    1992

    June

    12

    81

     

    January

    20

    75

    1991

    December

    17

    75

     

    January

    58

    32

     

    TABLE 6

    INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF CONGRESS’ OVERALL JOB RATING

    How would you rate the overall job your Member of the House of Representatives is doing?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Ideology

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE

    19

    22

    21

    15

    23

    16

    19

    Excellent

    3

    4

    5

    2

    5

    3

    3

    Pretty good

    15

    17

    17

    13

    18

    13

    16

    NEGATIVE

    71

    70

    68

    75

    71

    71

    69

    Only fair

    31

    34

    29

    33

    35

    31

    29

    Poor

    39

    36

    39

    41

    36

    41

    40

    Not familiar enough to rate

    11

    8

    11

    11

    6

    12

    12

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 7

    RE-ELECT MEMBER OF CONGRESS?

    Thinking about your Member of the House of Representatives, do you think…?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Ideology

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    It’s time to give someone else a chance

    52

    52

    47

    60

    53

    54

    48

    Your Congressperson deserves to be re-elected

    17

    19

    23

    12

    18

    15

    22

    Not at all sure

    31

    29

    30

    28

    29

    32

    30

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 8

    BLAME FOR GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

    As you may know, the federal government recently shut down for two weeks. Who do you think deserves the most blame for shutting down the federal government?

    Base: All adults

     

    Total

    Political Party

    Political Ideology

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Republicans in Congress

    45

    9

    74

    44

    16

    51

    72

    President Barack Obama

    32

    62

    10

    33

    56

    25

    12

    Democrats in Congress

    7

    17

    3

    6

    13

    5

    3

    Not at all sure

    16

    11

    13

    17

    14

    19

    13

    Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between November 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,250 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.

    J43568

    Q1205, 1210, 1215, 1220, 1225

    The Harris Poll® #88, November 25, 2013

    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 www.harrisinteractive.com.