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Americans Still Regard Congress As Least Respected Profession

Posted Sun, 08 Aug 2010 Uncategorized

commentary pen

Republished with permission of Rasmussen Reports

Thursday, August 05, 2010

With mid-term elections just months away, Americans continue to view being a member of Congress as the least favorable of nine professions.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% of Adults share a favorable opinion of members of Congress. Seventy-two percent (72%) have an unfavorable view of congressmen. These findings include five percent (5%) who have a Very Favorable impression and 45% who have a Very Unfavorable view of the legislators.

These findings are virtually unchanged from late September 2009 when being a member of members of Congress surpassed corporate CEOs as hold the least favorable profession.

Thirty-four percent (34%) now have a favorable impression of CEO’s, up slightly from the previous survey. A solid majority (59%) regard them unfavorably. This includes eight percent (8%) with a Very Favorable opinion and three times as many (2%) with a Very Unfavorable one.

Rasmussen Reports periodically asks adults their views of nine major professions. In February and June of late year, following the Wall Street meltdown and at a time when bailouts were a major government concern, corporate chief executive officers were rated at the very bottom, while members of Congress in both surveys came in next to last. Since the health care debate began to heat up, members of Congress have fallen behind CEOs.

The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on July 31-August 1, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Once again, people who start their own business are the most respected professionals in the country. Most Adults (89%) have a favorable impression of entrepreneurs, including 61% with a Very Favorable view of them. Only seven percent (7%) view these businessmen unfavorably. These findings show little change over the past couple years.

Tied with entrepreneurs are small business owners, regarded favorably by 89%. Six percent (6%) have an unfavorable opinion of small business owners. This finding, too, shows virtually no change from past surveys.

Small business confidence fell for the second month in July as a higher percentage of small business owners rated the current economy as poor and see it only getting worse, according to the Discover Small Business Watch.

Seventy-four percent (74%) view pastors and other local religious leaders at least somewhat favorably, while 19% take the opposing view. This finding is up slightly from late September 2009.

Recent polling finds that eight-out-of-10 Americans (80%) say that their religious faith is at least somewhat important in their daily lives.

At roughly 45%, lawyers, stock brokers and bankers are in the middle of the pack in terms of the most respected professions. For full details, please view the chart below.

Favorable Ratings for Professions
Fav Unfav Rating
Small Business Owners 89% 6%
People Who Start Own Business 89% 7%
Pastors and Religious Leaders 74% 19%
Bankers 47% 47% 0
Stockbrokers and Fin Analysts 44% 48% -4
Lawyers 43% 51% -8
Journalists 39% 56% -17
CEO’s 34% 59% -25
Members of Congress 23% 72% -49

Thirty-nine percent (39%) have a favorable opinion of journalists.

Fifty-six percent (56%) share an unfavorable impression of reporters. Most Republicans and voters not affiliated with either political party have an unfavorable impression of journalists, while Democrats are evenly divided.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information. We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site’s content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday. Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

The Views and Opinions Expressed by the author are his or her opinions only and do not necessarily reflect those of this Web-Site or its agents, affiliates, officers, directors, staff, or contractors. The author at the time of this article did not own any shares or receive any consideration financial or otherwise from any company or person mentioned or referred to in the article.

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