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Americans against Congress:

Over 80% of citizens disapprove of lawmakers

A general view shows the East Front of the US Capitol (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

Record-breaking numbers of Americans have lost support for Congress, according to a survey. Eighty-three per cent of respondents said they disapprove of the job its doing, while 57 per cent said they would replace every member of Congress if they could.

The poll (link to poll), conducted jointly by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, has illustrated new heights of vehement public distaste for the actions of the US government.

“There is a palpable unhappiness with Washington,” Republican pollster Peter D. Hart said upon learning the poll’s results. His Democratic counterpart concurred that “now is the summer of our discontent.”

At the same time, President Barack Obama has seen his approval rating slump to 45 per cent – down from 48 per cent last month. This marks his lowest rating since August 2011, when nearly every US politician suffered a blow on account of the debt-ceiling crisis, when Obama became embroiled in a heated debate with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republicans in Congress.

The reasons cited for the lack of support for Congress included the government ignoring the middle-class, gridlock, the inability for lawmakers to produce any tangible results, and President Obama’s policies and leadership in general.

However, these reasons invariably fall into different camps, with Republicans and Democrats citing different primary reasons. Democrats and independents are irritated with congressional gridlock and governmental inactivity, while Republicans are anti-Obama.

The poll used a cross section of 1,000 adults – including 300 cell phone only respondents – and was conducted between July 17-21.

Similar polls surrounding Obama’s popularity, conducted in recent weeks, seem to corroborate the results. A Gallup report released Monday revealed that Obama averaged a 47.9 per cent approval rating over the course of the past three months. A McClatchy-Marist national survey placed Obama’s overall approval rating closer to 41 per cent.