Congress approval rating: In the sub-basement in North Carolina

It’s hardly news these days that most people don’t approve of the job Congress is doing.

Perhaps the bigger news is finding the one-in-10 person in North Carolina who DOES approve of the legislators. Well, to be fair, 12.4 percent of respondents in the state said they approve. (And given these numbers, that 2.4 percent counts!)

Disapproval of Congress cuts across every demographic category. The highest approval rate the legislators get comes from people with less than a high school education — 32 percent. Still, 46 percent in that group disapprove. On the flip side, 91 percent of respondents with a graduate school education disapprove of Congress.

Among the political partisans, 77 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Independents and 81 percent of Republicans disapproved of how Congress is doing its job.

Nationally, people seem to perceive Congress better, but only slightly. Last month, the Washington Post-ABC poll found that 16 percent of respondents rated Congress favorably. That fits with Gallup’s February result — 15 percent — too.

“Congressional approval seems to have hit a floor with no direction to go but up,” said Dr. Jason Husser, assistant director of the Elon Poll. “The few who still approve of Congress tend to be very low information voters. However, polarization and gridlock will likely remain for years to come, suggesting that floor is probably the new normal.”

It is possible that is Congress shows movement on the issues it is tackling now — gun control, immigration and budget control — for instance, that its numbers could tick up. Or down.

Here’s the slightest sliver of good news for the Washington crowd: In February respondents to our poll gave Congress an 11 percent approval rating so the legislators ticked up a point. The bad news is that it is easily within the 3.53 percentage margin of error.

— John Robinson

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