Polling over the last couple of years has seen Congress' approval rating drop to depths unseen since the dawn of modern polling. The institution has never been especially popular, but it's never been this unpopular.
With this in mind, Public Policy Polling decided to test Congress' favorability rating against a variety of people, places, and cultural phenomena. To put it charitably, the results were a mixed bag.
Maddow Blog chart based on PPP data
First, the bad news for Congress. American voters have a higher opinion of root canals (32-56), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44), France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts (23-69).
Why head lice fared so well is a bit of a mystery to me, though I'm open to possible explanations.
That said, Congress beat out telemarketers (45-35), John Edwards (45-29), the Kardashians (49-36), lobbyists (48-30), North Korea (61-26), the ebola virus (53-25), Lindsay Lohan (45-41), Fidel Castro (54-32), playground bullies (43-38), meth labs (60-21), communism (57-23), and gonorrhea (53-28).
So I guess the news isn't all bad. I can just imagine the bumper sticker on John Boehner's car: "Congress: More Popular Than Venereal Diseases Since 2013."
Then again, Republicans are poised to crash the global economy deliberately unless their unspecified demands are met, so there's still time for Congress' public standing to deteriorate a little more.