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Public satisfaction with Congress at record lows, polls show

A new poll shows nearly 3 in every 4 US voter believe most members of Congress should not be re-elected.

Congress approval rating 2011 8 12Enlarge
The US Capitol on November 21, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

2011 was a bad year for Congress in terms of public satisfaction.

Three in every 4 voters believe most members of Congress do not deserve reelection, according to a new Gallup poll.

The figure is the highest percentage documented by the polling group since it began asking the question 19 years ago. Conversely, the 20 percent of pollsters who said most members deserved re-election was also a record low.

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The large anti-incumbent sentiment mirrors how the public generally views Congress.

Lawmakers currently hold the lowest favorable rating in more than 25 years, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found. Just 23 percent of Americans have a positive view of Congress, while 69 percent have negative ones.

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Congress’ rock-bottom approval ratings fared worse in Gallup’s version: the public approval of the legislative branch in November was at a dismal 13 percent

The Gallup poll was conducted Nov. 28-Dec.1 among 1,012 adults and 903 registered voters while the Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted Nov. 16 to 20 involving 1,009 adults. Both have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.