Politics, government and public life for Southern California

What do Californians think about Congress?

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Congress has few fans these days among California voters. Just 13 percent give a thumbs up to the work of lawmakers overall. As usual, when it comes to a voter's own member of Congress, the numbers go up: 44 percent approve of their representative's work on Capitol Hill.

This latest Field Poll of Californians' attitudes about the U.S. Congress shows continuing negative feedback – a trend that’s lasted more than a decade.  The last time voters in the Golden State had a positive view of Congress was 2003.

The news could be bad for incumbents: less than half (46 percent) say they'd be inclined to vote for their current member of Congress. One in three (33 percent) say they're inclined to vote against the person currently occupying the seat. One in five (21 percent) say it depends on who's running or say they have no opinion.

California Democrats are happier with their member of Congress than anyone else: 55 percent approve of their own representative.

Non-partisan voters are split down the middle: 38 percent approve and 39 percent disapprove of their lawmakers’ performance.

California Republicans — with just 15 of 53 seats in the state’s delegation — are more dissatisfied: just one in three approves of the work of their House member.

Voters who identify with the Tea Party movement are the most disgusted with Congress 89 percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing.

Currently, Democrats control the White House and the Senate; the GOP controls the House. The Field Poll asked California voters whether it would be better for the President’s party to also have majority control of the Congress or have one party controlling the White House and the other controlling the Congress. California voters are evenly split, findings similar to the last time they were asked this question two years ago.

The Field Poll spoke to a random sample of 1,000 registered California voters between March 18th and April 5th, 2014.

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