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Most Americans Finally Dislike Their Own U.S. Representative

Most Americans Finally Dislike Their Own U.S. Representative

At this point, it’s not news to say that Congress is unpopular. Heck, we’ve seen the surveys that show that cockroaches, Donald Trump, and dog poo are viewed more favorably than Congress. Somehow, however, these Congress members that we hate keep getting voted back into office. In 2012, 90% of House members that sought re-election won back their seats, despite America’s overall disapproval. How is that possible?

Well, there’s always been one important distinction to explain the phenomenon: people say they actually like their own representative. It’s the other 434 members of the House that are the problem! Blame it on hometown pride, blame it on familiarity, blame it on a sense of loyalty after voting for the particular candidate…whatever the reason, representatives don’t receive nearly as much scrutiny from their own constituents.

According to new poll numbers, however, this disconnect has finally changed. For the first time, American citizens now are willing to lump their own members of congress in with the whole lot and admit that they are part of the problem as well.

Never before in the annual ABC & Washington Post poll, which began more than 25 years ago, have the results shown the majority dissatisfied with their sitting congressperson. The fact that 51% of Americans are opposed to their own representatives shows a significant shift in our tolerance for D.C. buffoonery.

Do these new polling numbers indicate that we’ll see fewer incumbents get elected this November? Quite possibly – so long as our expectations remain low. The poll has generally correlated with the rates that incumbents win House seats. When members of Congress had peak approval in 1998, 98% of incumbents won back their positions. When Americans disliked their own representatives the least (prior to now) in 2010, incumbents only won 85% of their races. Obviously, an 85% incumbency victory rate is still ridiculously high, but it is a dip, even if slightly.

Incumbents will always have an advantage – they have name recognition on the ballot and they routinely raise more campaign funds than their opponents. Still, even if a mounting number of Americans were to want to intentionally spurn their incumbents in November, they’d have a hard time doing so. Between gerrymandering and the two party system’s stronghold on American democracy, a lot of voters will feel compelled to stick with the incumbent due to the lesser-of-two-evils “choice” they are forced to make.

However, at least a growing number of Americans are waking up to the fact that they’re dissatisfied with politicians on the whole – even the legislators they had a hand in voting into office themselves – and can start calling out politics for the sham that it is. If most Americans are no longer happy with their representatives, clearly there is a flaw in the system that needs to be addressed.

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83 comments

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3:30PM PDT on Aug 11, 2014

If the jerks get voted back in its because we've become a nation of dumb asses! We've allowed a few people to have all the power and don't have the guts to get out there, vote and reclaim our country!!! This country of sheep has been led, willingly, to the slaughter.....we deserve what we get.

10:50AM PDT on Aug 11, 2014

I'm NOT surpprised by this. I am, however, surprised it took THIS LONG for it to happen.

12:49PM PDT on Aug 10, 2014

noted

9:25AM PDT on Aug 9, 2014

You know what will really help?? Vote for moderates of any party and those who support average Americans, not the 1%. Yes, politicians lie to get elected, so don't vote for them the second time. Study the issues. Continue to vote for people who can work with people to get something done. Do not vote for people who try to out conservative one another. Don't fall into the " I will lower your taxes" routine because the average American gets hurt by this stupidity. Support candidates who want to eliminate waste in spending. Be careful of candidates who continually say I want to go to Washington to fix it. The only way to fix Washington is to fix yourself and select candidates who have a understanding of the issues that you can support.

12:39PM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

My postman once said that he was so fed up with the people running our local, state and federal governments, that if a yellow dog ran for office, he'd vote for the yellow dog because it couldn't be any worse. Sad to say, except for one state representative who will actually email you back a common-sense answer, the rest just mouth whatever they've been told to say by the people who fund their campaigns. In fact, it's truly sad, because their emails are just obvious cut & paste repetitions over and over.

6:09AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

Ron B.,
I think it goes further than that. The people are not promised freedom, but rather security. Look at all the corporate and government programs, and ask yourself whether ther are promising freedom or security. Then remember the old Ben Franklin quote, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

5:49AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

Tell me if the majority of americans hate their represenitive why do they keep being voted in...when i hear the crazy left and right voters say well mine not be good but their better than the other guy...if that's your excuse it's a sad one so quit voting...maybe if you get your heads out of your asses and quit going party line and actually study and learn something about other canadates maybe we could get these lifers out...take away the party and the majority of voters wouldn't know what to do or who to vote for.

5:32AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

In case you hadnt noticed John Care 2 is a news aggregator…….not a news maker or even reporter. In Fack Kevin even LINKED to the author of the original article.

3:34AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

Keven if you copy an article by By Peyton M. Craighill and Scott Clement, isn't that plagiarism?

2:18AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

that is the sad thing about the way things are now , everyone is dissatisfied but no one will vote to change it .and will it be any better after the next election , mmmmaybe but I doubt it . why because no one side or the other will admit there party could be wrong , it's always the other guys party . so until that happens , and people look at the politics and not the person it never will . and you know I sometimes think the politicians realize that , that's why they work so hard to try and do people out of their right to vote ,one way or the other , by hook or by crook .

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