With hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed, national parks locked and many services curtailed, it's not surprising that Americans don't hold Congress in high regard. What's surprising, according to a new survey by Public Policy Polling, is what Americans like better than Congress.
Like zombies. Asked what they have a higher opinion of, 43 percent of Americans chose zombies while 37 percent said Congress. Witches garnered 46 percent to Congress' 32 percent.
Other things more popular than Congress? Mothers-in-law, public radio fundraising drives and Wall Street.
And dog poop. Some 47 percent of Americans say they'd give higher ratings to dog poop; 40 percent chose federal lawmakers. People would rather face hemorrhoids (53 percent) than our representatives (31 percent). Toenail fungus and cockroaches aren't usually a favorite, but both fared better with Americans than their elected leaders on Capitol Hill.
"Yeah, that's probably true," said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, when read the list of items getting rating ahead of Congress.
"Clearly, statements such as these and others ... call into question the dignity of the House," Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., said on the chamber's floor this week. "These statements are not from a single editorial or merely one passer-by. These statements are being expressed around the nation and across the globe."
PPP's poll, which surveyed 502 registered voters between Oct. 4 and 6, has a 4.4 percent margin of error.
It also found only 8 percent of Americans approve of Congress' job performance; 80 percent disapprove. An Associated Press-GfK poll was worse for the folks America sent to Washington with only 5 percent of the country approving their actions.
Public Policy Polling, however, does note that there is good news to be found in its survey.
Congress, for example, is still more popular than serial killers, foreign enemies, Miley Cyrus, Honey Boo Boo and Lindsay Lohan. Congress outpolls twerking, heroin and the Ebola virus.
So lawmakers have that going for them.