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Poll: Views of Congress (again) hit new low

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CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto

Americans' perception of Congress remains historically low.

A new CBS News poll finds that just 11 percent of Americans approve of the job being done by Congress. That's down from 12 percent last month and reflects a new low in the CBS News poll, though the 1 percent drop is not statistically significant.

Eighty percent of Americans - four out of five - disapprove of Congress' performance. That includes 78 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of independents.

Americans have long held a dim view of Congress, though the numbers have grown increasingly negative this year. In February, 24 percent approved of Congress' performance; by August, that number had fallen to 14 percent, while the disapproval rating rose from 62 percent to 82 percent.

Asked whether Republicans and Democrats will be able to come together to pass a jobs package, Americans were pessimistic, with three in four calling it unlikely. Just 3 percent were very optimistic, while 20 percent where somewhat optimistic.

Forty-three percent, meanwhile, were not very optimistic about getting a jobs bill passed and 32 percent were not at all optimistic. The percentage who are not at all optimistic has increased 10 points since last month.

More from the poll:

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Poll: 7 in 10 say Obama has not helped economy
Poll: Just 1 in 5 Americans happy with direction of country
Poll: Nearly 2 in 3 want troops in Afghanistan decreased
Poll: Half of U.S. says Afghan war not a success
Read the complete poll (PDF)

This poll was conducted by telephone from September 28-October 2, 2011 among 1,012 adults nationwide. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
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