How unpopular is Congress today? With approval ratings as low as 14%, the current Congress ranks below human cloning, caning vandals, and—gulp—banks and HMOs, reports the Washington Post. Congress is even liked less than George W. Bush at the lowest ebb of his presidency in 2008. “It’s undoubtedly reflecting a generalized disgust with the institution,” said one political scientist.
Then again, America's system of government was designed to be divided and inefficient. “If the Constitution was designed to create gridlock, and we’ve discovered the Congress and the president are in gridlock now, who should we really blame here?" asks the political scientist. Even a good PR campaign probably wouldn't do the trick, as Congress cannot change its name or mission statement. But in the end, the biggest factor that can improve congressional approval is an improving economy. “Congress will never be popular,” says a researcher. “But it’ll be less unpopular.” (Read more Congress stories.)