Congressional approval rating falls again

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Congress's approval rating fell one point to 16 percent in the latest Gallup poll, while 78 percent of Americans surveyed by Gallup disapprove of the job Congress is doing.

The rating is low, historically speaking, but still six points higher than the record-low 10 percent approval rating seen in February. How long has the rating been in the teens?

From 1974 through 2004, Congress' job approval averaged just over 40%, with most of the readings falling within 10 percentage points of that average, and only two readings below 20% -- one in 1979 and the other in 1992. 

In 2005, the monthly rating fell beneath 40 percent and has not returned since.

Why? Gallup points out that the economy could be blame

Apart from any criticism Americans may have of Congress for its recent legislative actions or inaction, the continued negative economic climate is likely a major reason for the low ratings, something Gallup has demonstrated previously.

Poll results were based on phone interviews conducted from July 9 to July 12 with a random sample of 1,014 adults, ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, according to Gallup. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 points.

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