Poll: We Hate Congress More Than Ever Approval dives below 20% By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Aug 5, 2011 1:19 AM CDT Updated Aug 5, 2011 5:00 AM CDT 32 comments Comments Why are these people smiling? (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg) (Newser) – The debt ceiling mess has pushed Congress' already dismal approval ratings into the abyss, according to the latest New York Times/CBS poll. Some 82% of Americans don't approve of the way Congress is doing its job, the lowest rating since the Times started asking the question in 1977. CNN's poll gave lawmakers even lower grades, with just 14% of respondents approving of how Congress is handling its responsibilities. More than 80% said the debt debate was more about scoring political points than doing what's best for America. The public isn't impressed with either party, but the GOP fares worse in the Times poll, with 72% of those surveyed disapproving of congressional Republicans' performance versus 66% down on the Democrats. Poll respondents were more evenly split on President Obama's performance in the debt talks, with 47% disapproving and 46% approving of how he handled the situation. Only a fifth of Americans now view the Tea Party movement positively, the poll found, and more than two-thirds say creating jobs should be a higher priority than cutting spending.