A whopping 64% of Americans think Congress members have "low" or "very low" levels of honesty and ethical standards, a number that could not be matched even by lobbyists, car salespeople, or telemarketers. In fact, only one other group has ever received a score that high for the same question since Gallup started asking it in 1976: lobbyists, in 2008. This year, however, lobbyists scored better than Congress with 62%, followed by telemarketers at 53%, and car salespeople at 47%.
On the other end of the spectrum, 84% of respondents think nurses have "high" or "very high" levels of honesty and ethical standards, and just 1% ranked them "low" or "very low." Pharmacists and medical doctors also scored well. Gallup notes that the ratings for Congress members' honesty and ethics have never been all that great: Their best level was in 2001, when 25% ranked them at "high" or "very high" levels. This year, just 7% rated them at those levels—the worst performance on record. Click for another disappointing Gallup poll result for Congress. (Read more Gallup poll stories.)