The FINANCIAL -- While Members of Congress probably were not expecting a miracle over the holidays and as the new year dawned, they probably were hoping they could start the year a little better than they ended it. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. While last month just 5% of Americans gave them positive marks for the job they were doing, this month that number does inch up, but only to 6% giving them positive ratings while 94% give them negative ones, according to The Harris Poll of 2,236 adults surveyed online between January 15 and 20, 2014 by Harris Interactive.
The leaders of Congress are doing somewhat better, but are still seeing that the jobs they are doing are not viewed in the best manner. Looking at the House of Representatives, just 12% of Americans give the job Speaker of the House John Boehner is doing positive marks while over half (56%) give him negative ratings and one-third (32%) are not familiar enough with him to have an opinion. In July, 13% gave him positive ratings while 51% gave him negative ratings. For Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, she has slightly higher positive ratings at 17% but 55% give her negative marks and 28% are not familiar enough to have an opinion. In July, 18% gave Leader Pelosi positive ratings while 53% gave her negative ones.
On the other side of Capitol Hill, things really aren't much better. Just over one in ten Americans (12%) give Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid positive ratings while 45% give him negative marks and 43% are not familiar enough with him to have an opinion. This is similar to July when 11% gave him positive ratings, 43% gave him negative marks and 46% weren't familiar enough with him to have an opinion. Looking at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, just 7% give him positive ratings for the overall job he is doing, 38% give him negative marks but over half (54%) are not familiar enough to have an opinion. This is down from July when 11% have him positive ratings and 35% gave him negative marks; again 54% were not familiar enough to have an opinion, according to Harris Interactive Inc.
The two parties in Congress also have a lot of problems as the year starts. Democrats in Congress are actually doing better, with 16% of Americans giving the job they are doing positive marks while over half (54%) give them negative ratings and 29% are not familiar enough to have an opinion. Just under one in ten U.S. adults (9%) give Republicans in Congress positive ratings for the job they are doing while 59% give them negative marks and 32% are not familiar enough with them to have an opinion. In July, 18% gave Democrats positive marks and 51% gave them negative ratings while 11% gave Republicans positive ratings and 56% gave them negative ones.
There is Congress as a whole, there are the parties in Congress and there is the individual Member of Congress. And, just like last month, just one in five Americans (20%) give their individual Member of the House of Representatives positive ratings for the job he or she is doing, while 68% give him or her negative marks. This may be why over half of U.S. adults (52%) say it is time to give someone else a chance while just one in five (20%) say their Congressperson deserves to be re-elected and 28% are not at all sure, according to Harris Interactive Inc.