Congress Rates Worse Than Lice, Better Than Ebola

We know that Congress has had incredibly low public approval ratings for the last decade or so (we still return 90% of them to office as incumbents, of course), but Public Policy Polling decided to see how the public views Congress compared to various other things. The results are quite amusing:

Our newest national poll finds that Congress only has a 9% favorability rating with 85% of voters viewing it in a negative light. We’ve seen poll after poll after poll over the last year talking about how unpopular Congress is but really, what’s the difference between an 11% or a 9% or a 7% favorability rating? So we decided to take a different approach and test Congress’ popularity against 26 different things. And what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and even Nickelback.

Here’s what we found:

It’s gross to have lice but at least they can be removed in a way that given the recent reelection rates members of Congress evidently can’t: Lice 67 Congress 19…

Colonoscopies are not a terribly pleasant experience but at least they have some redeeming value that most voters aren’t seeing in Congress: Colonoscopies 58 Congress 31

And you can make the same point about root canals: Root Canals 56 Congress 32…

Genghis Khan did a lot of bad stuff but I guess it’s faded from voters’ minds in a way that Congress’ recent misdeeds haven’t: Genghis Khan 41 Congress 37

DC political pundits and Donald Trump aren’t held in very high esteem by the population, but they still both manage to just barely edge Congress: DC political pundits 37 Congress 34 and Donald Trump 44 Congress 42

Cockroaches are a pretty good reason to call the exterminator but voters might be even more concerned if their homes were infested with members of Congress: Cockroaches 45 Congress 43

Congress did, however, beat out Lindsay Lohan, the Kardashians and the Ebola virus.

11 comments on this post.
  1. Wes:

    And what we found is that Congress is less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and even Nickelback.

    Now let’s not get carried away here. No matter how bad Congress is, it can’t be as bad as Nickleback. Nothing can be as bad as Nickleback.

  2. Reverend PJ:

    @Wes – How about the members of congress doing Nickelback karaoke?

  3. freemage:

    Or maybe a member of Nickelback running for Congress? That might be so awful it’s good again….

    Oh, and the re-election rate is pretty much a direct outgrowth of the way we have surrendered to the two-party system. Outside of cases of egregious corruption, it’s rare that someone on ‘my side’ is so bad that I’m going to throw my support behind the guy from ‘the other side’. The time to unseat an incumbent is, unfortunately, the hardest time to take them on, logistically speaking–the primary season. Since the parties favor stability over everything else, once they’ve got someone in office, the machine works to maintain the status quo. Someone challenging an incumbent during the primary is going to pretty much be considered beyond the pale by the party’s establishment.

  4. Didaktylos:

    How do the Kardashians score against Ebola?

  5. troll:

    (we still return 90% of them to office as incumbents, of course)

    Well, yeah. I think Bernie Sanders and Pete Welch are pretty good (Leahy, less so). Unfortunately, there are hundreds of imbecilic yahoos in Congress who I do not have the option of voting against. I assume that’s the case in most districts.

  6. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant):

    What about Lindsay Lohan and the Kardashians infected by Ebola? How would that score?

  7. Marcus Ranum:

    That’s probably because not enough people know what ebola is.

  8. baal:

    Isn’t Ebola that cough drop that uses Swiss imagery in it’s ads?

    I would guess that the House not doing anything positive for 4 years hasn’t helped much.

  9. The Lorax:

    What about terrorism and congress? Or the war on terror and congress? Those, at least, might be illuminating…

  10. Reginald Selkirk:

    At least ebola kills you pretty quickly; the Tea Party infested congress drags on and on, like Lindsay Lohan.

  11. dingojack:

    Zinc Avenger (#6) – 99%+ approval.
    :) Dingo

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