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If you read the Rasmussen survey instrument, the money question comes after two questions which imply strong skepticism of government. Nevertheless, Rasmussen has been conducting this sort of poll over time, so changes in sentiment are still germane. Pollster Pat Caddell said via-email “unprecedented…pre-revolutionary.” The poll was taken August 1-2, before the US debt downgrade. The results:
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.
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.