WASHINGTON – A new poll shows Americans' approval of Congress sinking to all-time lows.
The latest Gallup Poll found that approval of the legislative branch of the federal government hit 18 percent in an Aug. 13-16 survey. Those disapproving of Congress stands at 76 percent.
Gallup says the approval number matches the low-water mark hit in 1992, in the midst of a check-bouncing scandal in what was a Democrat-led Congress. That scandal was among the reasons credited for the sweeping Republican takeover in 1994.
The poll surveyed 1,019 adults aged 18 and older, and has a 3 percent margin of error.
This month's congressional approval rating dipped nine points from a Gallup poll a month earlier, and has fallen steadily since the Democratic takeover in January, when the approval rating jumped to 35 percent.
But the current approval rating isn't radically different from the 21 percent approval rating in December 2006, a month after the election but before the official handover took place.
The poll shows Democrats' and independent voters' opinions have darkened in the last month, and now there are no statistically significant differences in the approval rating broken down among Republicans, Democrats and independents.
The highest historical approval for Congress, according to Gallup, was just after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks: Approval soared to 85 percent.