Americans are about as likely to trust members of Congress as they are car salespeople, according to a Gallup poll released Monday surveying opinions on the honesty of various professions.
Just 10 percent of Americans gave members of Congress high marks for honesty and ethical standards, putting them below HMO managers, stockbrokers and advertisers, and just 2 points above car dealers. Fifty-four percent rated Congressional representatives as having low or very low standards, making them the most poorly regarded of any of the groups.
These numbers aren't unusual -- in fact, they represent an improvement for the legislative branch. Gallup reports:
Members of Congress have never fared well in the 15 years of these ratings. The high point for congressmen and congresswomen came in November 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when 25% of Americans rated their honesty and ethical standards as very high or high. Last year's 7% honesty rating for members of Congress was the lowest on record.
HuffPost Pollster shows congressional approval hovering at around 13 percent.
Senators fared a few points better, as did state governors, who were the most popular of the government officials polled, with 20 percent positive ratings. All of the politicians ranked below some traditionally unpopular careers, including bankers and journalists.
Top scores went to nurses by a wide margin, with 85 percent of Americans rating them highly. Other medical professionals, including pharmacists, doctors and dentists, were also widely trusted, as were engineers, police officers, college professors and members of the clergy.
The Gallup poll surveyed 1,015 adults by phone between Nov. 26 and Nov. 29, with a 4 percent margin of error.