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How low can Congress go?

Washington (CNN) - The numbers tell the story.

As federal lawmakers head out to their home states and districts for the five-week summer recess, the approval rating for Congress is mired near historic lows.

Only 17% of Americans give the institution a thumbs up, with a whopping 77% saying they disapprove of the job lawmakers are doing, according to a CNN Poll of Polls that averages the four non-partisan, live operator, national surveys of Congress' approval rating conducted over the past two and a half weeks.

Not only is the disapproval rating for Congress sky-high, but a recent poll suggests that voters are very open to throwing out their own representative in the U.S. House. Only 32% of those questioned in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in mid-July said they feel that their member of Congress deserves to be re-elected, with 57% saying it's time to give a new person a chance.

Another 57% said they would vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative, if such a place on the ballot existed.

While not in the same predicament, President Barack Obama doesn't have a whole heck of a lot to brag about when it comes to his public standing - he stands at a 46% approval rating while his disapproval rate is 48%, according to a new CNN Poll of Polls that averages the the three non-partisan, live operator, national surveys of the president's approval rating conducted over the past two weeks.

Considering the slow recovery of the economy and the smothering gridlock in the nation's capital, these numbers are understandable.

Even a top member of Congress acknowledges the extremely poor showing in the polls.

"I think the low approval of Congress is not surprising. The president's is not that great, either," admitted Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, talking to reporters Tuesday. "I think the American people are reacting appropriately to the fact that we have an economy that is not getting the job done."

 

 

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