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Majority of voters disillusioned with US Congress, poll shows


Ratings of the US Congress remain overwhelmingly negative, with the vast majority of voters disillusioned with lawmakers and political parties, a new poll shows.

Just 12 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing while 80 percent disapprove, according to a CBS News Poll released on Wednesday.

Furthermore, only 5 percent of American voters believe most members of Congress have done a good enough job to deserve re-election, the poll shows. While this number has been low historically, 5 percent is the lowest ever recorded in CBS News polls; nearly nine in 10 say it’s time to give new people a chance.

There is also a sense of disillusionment among the American public. Forty-five percent of Americans — a record high in CBS News polls — now say they agree with the statement “It makes no real difference which party controls Congress, things go on just as they did before.”

With less than six months until this year’s midterm elections, voters are not too enthusiastic about voting either. More than four in 10 are less enthusiastic about voting this year compared to previous congressional elections, the survey revealed.

The country’s two major political parties are not viewed positively either, although the Democratic Party is viewed more favorably (43 percent favorable) than the Republican Party (33 percent favorable).

Voters choose the economy (39 percent) as the issue that will be most important in deciding their vote for Congress this November, ahead of health care (22 percent), the federal budget deficit (11 percent) and the environment (9 percent).

The poll also suggests that Americans are somewhat cynical when it comes to participating in the electoral process. Three in four think wealthy Americans have a better chance than others of influencing the election process. Only 23 percent say all Americans have an equal chance to do so.

Most Americans (71 percent) continue to think individual financial contributions to political campaigns should be limited. The majorities of voters would like to see campaign contributions limited, but Democrats and independents are more likely to hold that view than Republicans.

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