Polls: 81% unhappy with government … 71% favor term limits

According to a new round of polls this week, Americans continue to lose faith in many of their elected officials with record numbers of citizens unhappy with the leadership coming out of Washington, D.C.

On Monday the Gallup Poll reported that 81% of Americans were not happy with government, the highest rating ever in the history of polling, and noted that it could get worse:

“Americans’ various ratings of political leadership in Washington add up to a profoundly negative review of government — something that would seem unhealthy for the country to endure for an extended period,” Gallup wrote. “Nevertheless, with another budget showdown looking inevitable and a contentious presidential election year getting underway, it appears the ratings reviewed here could get worse before they improve.”

That was backed up by a CNN/ORC International Poll released today reporting that “the public’s trust in the federal government has dropped to an all-time low” with only 15% expressing faith in government to do what’s right.

On Tuesday, Rasmussen came out with more startling numbers reflecting the dissatisfaction of the American people with their Congressional representatives. An overwhelming 71% of voters favored term limits for elected officials while 14% opposed and 15% had no opinion. Rasmussen reported:

Why term limits? One reason may be that 70% of voters agree with the statement that “once someone is in office too long, they start looking out for themselves and their friends more than the interests of the people.” Just 16% disagree with the statement, and 14% more are not sure. Rasmussen added, “The nation’s founders believed that the only way to hold a legislator accountable was to insure that they come back and live under the laws they created for the rest of us. That rarely happens in the twenty-first century.” Most voters believe that the legislators routinely win re-election because the system is rigged to benefit incumbents. Hardly any believe that the “representatives” earn re-election by serving their constituents well.

Again noting that these are historical findings, Rasmussen continued:

Voters overwhelmingly believe that most members of Congress are more interested in helping their own careers than in helping other people. Forty-six percent (46%) viewed most members of Congress as corrupt. These are the most pessimistic assessments ever found on those questions in surveys stretching back to early November 2006.

Just six percent (6%) of voters now rate Congress’ performance as good or excellent, the lowest finding in the history of Rasmussen Reports surveying.

As reported in earlier polls, Americans are not confident in political parties, with Rasmussen reporting that 49% — that’s approximately one out of every two voters — feel that neither political party in Congress is looking out for the best interest of the American people. Rasmussen says that’s up six points from a year ago.

Combined with President Barack Obama’s low job approval ratings, the polls show that citizen dissatisfaction with many of their leaders continues to grow.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl

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