Americans: Congress is listening to the wrong people


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

Looking for common ground with your neighbor these days? Try switching subjects from the weather to Congress. Chances are, you both agree it’s terrible.

In red, blue or purple states, in middle America or on the coasts, most Americans loathe the nation’s Legislature. One big reason: Most think lawmakers are listening to all the wrong people, suggests a new study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-Santa Barbara with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Hating Congress has become a lasting feature of American politics, regardless of which party is in power or whether the 435 House members and 100 senators pass lots of legislation – or don’t do much of anything at all.

A new poll from the AP-NORC Center found that 85 percent of Americans, including 89 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans, disapprove of the job Congress is doing. That might matter in this midterm election year, as Republicans defend their majorities in the House and Senate.

In the study by Stanford, UC-Santa Barbara and the AP-NORC Center, which was conducted in 2015 and again in 2017, only about 2 in 10 said they think Congress pays much attention to their own constituents or Americans as a whole, or even give much consideration to the best interests of those people.

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