Poll: Congressman and Car Salesman Least Trusted Professions

The U.S. Congress has found itself near the very bottom of an opinion poll of which institutions and professions Americans trust and distrust the most.

Only one in 10 Americans have a high or very high opinion of members of Congress, who rank higher only than car salespeople, according to a new Gallup poll.

On the other end of the scale, nurses were deemed to be the most trustworthy of professions with 85 percent of respondents rating them high or very high. Healthcare professionals in the U.S. took the top spots, with pharmacists and medical doctors also among the most trusted institutions in America, with a 75 and 70 percent very high or high rate, respectively.

Senators, HMO mangers, stockbrokers and advertising practitioners found themselves near the bottom along with members of Congress and car salespeople, all scoring less than 15 percent of very high or high trustworthiness.

Clergy representatives were deemed to be more trustworthy than not, with 52 percent of respondents saying that they have a high or very high view of the institution.

According to Gallup, the implications of these results mean "bad news" for politicians, who remain in the bottom half of the list, as they have for the past decade or so. The results coincide with other indicators that reportedly show a negative image of the federal government, and low congressional job approval ratings.

"Members of Congress have never fared well in the 36 years of these ratings. The high point for congressmen and congresswomen came in November 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when 25% of Americans rated their honesty and ethical standards as very high or high. Last year's 7% honesty rating for members of Congress was the lowest on record," the polling organization notes.

Gallup also noted that the honesty rating of the medical professions featured on this year's list are the highest since it first started collecting data in 1976.

The poll was conducted Nov. 26-29, 2012, and sampled by phone 1,015 U.S. adults in all 50 U.S. states, including the District of Columbia.