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Members of Congress near bottom of ethics ratings: Gallup

Members of Congress are perceived to have among the lowest ethical standards of any occupation, according to a new Gallup poll

The survey found 62 percent of respondents said members of Congress have “very low” or “low” ethical standards, while only 9 percent said they had “very high” or “high” standards. Only telemarketers received a worse rating. 

Gallup surveyed respondents on their views on a total of 18 occupations, including high school teachers, police officers and journalists. 

Nurses received the highest score, with 79 percent saying they have very high or high ethical standards, followed by medical doctors and pharmacists. 

Some of the other occupations near the bottom of the list include car salespeople, business executives and advertising practitioners.

Pollsters also found consistency in how members of Congress are viewed by each party, with 10 percent of Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents saying they have high or very high ethical standards and 8 percent of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents saying the same. 

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The poll did find significant differences in the results based on party for some occupations. Democrats were much more likely to say high school teachers, journalists and labor union leaders were ethical, while Republicans were much more likely to view police officers as ethical. 

Republicans’ views of nurses, medical doctors and pharmacists are also somewhat worse than Democrats’ views of people in those fields. Gallup identified the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as the beginning of a difference there, noting that both Democrats and Republicans’ views of those occupations were in sync before the pandemic began.

The poll of 1,020 adults, conducted Nov. 9-Dec. 2, 2022, has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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