Who’s More Skeptical? Gallup or the Public?


Gallup released a new poll today on what the public thinks about ethics and lobbying "reform" that — despite their headline — actually reflects our bipartisan polling that showed that voters nationwide believe that too little has been done to reform lobbying and disclosure laws. We found the Gallup analysis of their own poll rather odd because it downplays their own results. Their headline: "Americans Dubious Congress Can Curb Corruption: But less than half think it’s a very serious problem" doesn’t actually reflect their findings.

When you look into the details of the new poll — fully 83% consider corruption a serious or very serious problem. Nearly two-thirds say that dealing with corruption should be a high priority. Republicans think nearly equally to Democrats (62 to 69 percent) that reform should be a top or high priority for the Congress this year.

Gallup’s skepticism should be saved for the issue of whether Congress can reform itself since just slightly more than one third of the public are confident that Congress will pass meaningful legislation.

The Gallup poll also found that Americans are split on whether reforms should severely restrict the amount of money lobbyists can spending on travel and meals for lawmakers or whether these perks should be allowed as long as they are fully disclosed. (52 percent favor a ban, while 47 percent favor full disclosure) with little difference between Republicans and Democrats.