Congress' job approval rating from Americans fell six points in the past month, from 24% to 18% -- the lowest reading in more than a year. Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) now disapprove.
This decline in congressional approval is largely explained by a sharp drop in approval among rank-and-file Democrats, from 45% in January to 30% today. The slight changes in approval among Republicans and independents are not statistically significant.
In a related finding, among ideological groups, approval of Congress is down mainly among liberals (from 40% in January to 24% today). Support from moderates was already fairly low, at 28%, and is now 21%. There has been no change in approval among conservatives, at 14%.
Looking at the partisan trends on congressional approval since the start of last year, it is clear that Democrats' support for the body was restored shortly after President Barack Obama was sworn in, rising from 18% in January 2009 to 43% in February. It rose further to 57% in March and remained at or above 50% for the next several months. However, Democrats' approval of Congress subsequently withered (with a brief dip to 36% last fall), and now stands at its lowest level since Obama took office.
Approval of Congress has consistently been below 20% among Republicans and independents for several months. (CONTINUE READING AT GALLUP)