Congress’s approval ticks up to 19 percent. (Yes, that’s an improvement, believe it or not.)

How poor a job is Congress doing in the eyes of the American public? So poor that fewer than one in five Americans approve -- and that's actually GOOD news for Capitol Hill lawmakers.

Congress' approval rating jumped up five points from 14 percent to 19 percent during the last month, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. It's the highest number since October of 2012. (Of course, "highest" is a relative term given how low the numbers have been.)

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So why the jump? Gallup suggests it could be related to President Obama asking Congress to approve military action against Syria. (That ask is currently on hold.) Americans strongly oppose a strike, and Congress has been very skeptical, too.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · September 12, 2013