14% of Americans like Congress. Who are they?

at 12:29 PM ET, 10/06/2011

(Jim Watson - AFP/Getty Images)
The newest Washington Post-ABC News Poll has congressional approval ratings hitting new lows, with an overwhelming 82 percent of Americans disapproving of the legislators. Of those, 60 percent “strongly disapprove.” These numbers make Congress less popular than animal cloning, BP’s handling of the gulf oil spill and even the use of caning as punishment for teenage vandals.

But there are 14 percent who say that Congress is doing just fine and 3 percent who “strongly approve” of how things are going up on the Hill (note: That number is so low, its actually within the poll’s margin of error). Who are these people? Rosalind S. Helderman and Scott Clement called about a dozen of them:

The genus Congress Approver is largely made up of two species: those who don’t mind Washington at a stalemate and those who haven’t really noticed it.
The first group is composed of conservatives who embrace the gridlock as a sign that the new Republican majority is standing up to a Democratic president they think is on the wrong track.
“It’s easy to say [lawmakers] should compromise,” said Sherran Whatley, 73, who lives in Washington state. “But if you do that, you’re not standing for what you believe in. When it comes to politics, and when it comes to a time when we’re in such dire straits, there are lines to be drawn.” ...
In the second group of Congress Approvers are glass-half-full types who cheerfully acknowledge that they don’t follow politics closely and don’t want to pass judgment on what they don’t know.
“I’m not really up on Congress. I have no qualms with them,” said Roxanne Kidwell, 58.
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