Congress Gets A No Confidence Vote

Our latest NBC/WSJ poll is out, and the headline is clear: Voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government.

Sending a staggering signal of no confidence, half the electorate (50%) says it would vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, if there were a place on the ballot to do it (47% say they would not).

By a margin of two-to-one, Independents say they would cast this all-encompassing vote if they could (64% to 32%), and 72% of Tea Party supporters say they would do the same.  But, the discontent doesn’t end with these expected groups.  From professionals and managers (52%) to blue collar workers (53%), from rural voters (54%) to suburban voters (54%), majorities across the board would all choose to pull the lever against every member of Congress.  Even a considerable portion of Democrats would choose this option.

alex14As shocking as this seems, at the same time it’s hardly surprising when you consider that only 17% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, while 77% disapprove – as high a level of disapproval as we have measured since October 2008.

And, this isn’t just about job performance – it’s also about trust.  When we asked how often the public trusts various levels of government to do what is right, the U.S. Congress came in at rock bottom position.  Just 23% of Americans say they trust Congress to do what is right just about always or most of the time, while a stunning 76% say they trust Congress only some of the time or never.

The 2008 election may have been all about change…but with data like this it looks like the 2010 elections could be about change all over again.

*NBC/WSJ national survey conducted March 11, 13-14, 2010.  The survey was conducted among 1,000 adults, with some questions reported only among 846 registered voters.

 (Public Opinion Strategies partners with Peter D. Hart Research Associates to conduct the NBC/WSJ polls. Neither Peter D. Hart Research Associates nor NBC/WSJ are responsible for these conclusions.)