New Low: 17% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Fewer voters than ever feel the federal government has the consent of the governed.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here .)

The number of voters who feel the government has the consent of the governed - a foundational principle, contained in the Declaration of Independence - is down from 23% in early May and has fallen to its lowest level measured yet.

Perhaps it's no surprise voters feel this way since only eight percent (8%) believe the average member of Congress listens to his or her constituents more than to their party leaders. That, too, is the lowest level measured to date. Eighty-four percent (84%) think the average congressman listens to party leaders more than the voters they represent.

Voter approval of the job Congress is doing has fallen to a new low - for the second month in a row. Only six percent (6%) now rate Congress' performance as good or excellent.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 1-2, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology .

Democrats and voters not affiliated with either political party are more inclined to think the government does have the consent of the governed, but sizable majorities of all three groups don't believe that to be the case.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of the Political Class , on the other hand, feel the government does have the consent of the governed. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Mainstream voters disagree.

Most voters across the demographic board believe the average congressman listens to their party leaders more than the people they represent.

Voters also are more convinced than ever that most congressmen are crooks .

Most voters still lack confidence even in their own local Congress member . Given a choice between keeping the entire Congress or picking a new one and starting over, most voters want to dump all the incumbents.

An overwhelming majority of voters nationwide want members of Congress to take a pay cut until the federal budget is balanced. A plurality (48%) want President Obama to take a pay cut, too, until that day comes.

As for the debt ceiling agreement reached in Congress , just 22% of voters nationwide approve of the new law, while 53% disapprove. The majority of voters also disapproved of how both sides handled the debt debate .

The president and Congress agreed to cut a trillion dollars in federal spending over the next decade as part of the debt ceiling deal, but most voters doubt that will actually happen .

Most voters continue to favor repeal of the national health care law as they have every week but one since Congress passed it in March 2010. ... e_governed