- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 1, 2018

The popularity of the U.S. Congress hit rock bottom in late 2013 according to Gallup poll historical data. The lawmakers only scored a 9 percent job approval rating that November. Things are not quite that bad at the moment, though they are nothing to brag about.

A new Gallup poll finds Congress with a 19 percent approval; 30 percent of Republicans, 19 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

“Given the current job approval rating of Congress, it is not surprising that the public does not view top congressional leaders positively,” the pollster notes in a new analysis. “Americans view each of the top four U.S. congressional leaders more negatively than positively as the midterm election draws near and the public’s opinion of Congress as a whole remains mired in long-term low approval ratings.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan garnered the best numbers, followed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The numbers:

• 40 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of House Speaker Paul Ryan; 69 percent of Republicans, 34 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

• 29 percent overall have a favorable opinion of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; 11 percent of Republicans, 22 percent of independents and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

•29 percent have a favorable opinion of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer; 15 percent of Republicans, 21 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats agree.

• 24 percent overall have a favorable opinion of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; 48 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats agree.

“While Ryan’s image is currently the best of the lot, he still falls below majority-level favorability. Meanwhile, Americans view the two leaders who have been in office the longest, McConnell and Pelosi, the most negatively. While McConnell’s term as a senator doesn’t expire until 2021, Pelosi is running for re-election this November. Although she has won handily in the past and is not expected to face a serious challenge, she may want to put in more work to improve her image with her constituents,” Gallup noted.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,520 U.S. adults conducted June 1-13 and released Friday.

This is a brief Beltway update filed by Jennifer Harper. The full Inside the Beltway column returns Wednesday.

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