Survey: 57% Say Partisan Extremists Broke Congress

A new Reuters-Ipsos poll confirms what most Americans already knew: Congress is ineffective, and extreme partisanship is to blame.

The May 2015 poll found that while members of Congress have made minor strides with bipartisan agreement in May – like the passage of a bill that allows Congress to review a nuclear deal with Iran – Americans still have little faith in their ability to work together to find lasting solutions for the problems facing the country today.

Of those surveyed, 57 percent of Americans said Congress is more effective “when the extremists on either side don’t have as much leverage,” while 22 percent disagreed.

“It’s much too polarized, too political now,” said Penny Mahar, a political independent from Whitesboro, New York, and one of the poll respondents.

 

“Once, when somebody was elected to Congress, they would work with the opposite party to try to make things better for their country. Now they seem more focused on their party than the needs of the people.” – Reuters, May 15, 2015

This view is not unique to political independents, either:

“I don’t think they’ve been able to really make changes. It seems like it is still the status quo,” said Dan Boesken of Batesville, Indiana, who said he leans Republican.

Public dissatisfaction with Congress is not a new concept. Congressional approval ratings have not risen above 25% since November 2009, an indication of the growing frustration among Americans nationwide.