Americans hate their own member of Congress, will vote to reelect them this fall

posted at 2:01 pm on August 5, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Americans long ago lost faith in Congress, but they historically were predisposed to give their own representative the benefit of the doubt. Not any more, though. For the first time in the 25-year history of the ABC News/Washington Post poll, a slim majority disapproves of the job their own member of Congress has been doing.

This poll found the public’s disapproval of their member rising to 51 percent with just 41 percent of the public approving of the job their representative has done in office. “That’s a new low, though it’s not significantly different from ratings last October (43 percent), immediately after the end of a 16-day partial government shutdown that sent Republican approval ratings through the floor,” The Post’s write up of the poll read.

This result is actually the continuation of a trend. While the ABC News/Washington Post survey did not ask respondents about their voting intentions in the fall, other surveys have found voters are growing more predisposed to tell pollsters that they believe their own member does not deserve reelection.

At the start of the year, Gallup found a record low number of voters, 46 percent, saying they believe their representative should be returned to Congress. Just 17 percent of the voting public thinks everyone else’s member of Congress should be replaced.

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In 2011, CNN/ORC also found that, for the first time, only 41 percent of voters said that their member deserves to be sent back to Congress. “Never in modern times, through the financial crisis, the Iraq war, or Clinton’s scandals and impeachment, have American adults been quite this disgusted with their reps,” AllahPundit observed at the time.

What happened in 2012? 90 percent of House members and 91 percent of senators were sent back to Congress by their constituents.

Even in spite of a motivated base of change voters, the wave midterm election of 2010 only saw 85 percent of incumbent House members returned by their constituents. And that was an aberration; the last time the House incumbent retention rate was that low was in 1970.

While most analysts expect the 2014 midterm election cycle to take on a more anti-incumbent character than 2012 – and the polls indicate sustained, historic revulsion with Congress and its members – few political prognosticators are predicting a wave election along the lines of 2010 or 1970 (yet).

Even this historic ABC News/Washington Post poll, which found that 51 percent of Americans disapprove of their representative, also revealed that those who actually vote are far more forgiving of their member of Congress. Among registered voters, only 48 percent disapprove of the job their member has done while 46 percent approve of their representative – a gap well within this poll’s margin of error.

For all the sturm und drang reflected in the polls, don’t expect the bums to be thrown out any time soon.


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For all the sturm und drang reflected in the polls, don’t expect the bums to be thrown out any time soon.

I could describe in graphic and gory detail what I’d like to see “done.” Call me a dreamer.

MisterElephant on August 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I absolutely adore MY member of Congress!

Of course, he’s Louie Gohmert. Last election, he got 71% of the vote here.

This time, he may top that.

Tom Servo on August 5, 2014 at 2:06 PM

I’m not so sure all of them will….

d1carter on August 5, 2014 at 2:07 PM

One thing, it would be great is the conservative anti-amnesty R voters of Tennessee would wake up and not return the climate change pushing amnesty shill Lamar Alexander to D.C., primary August 7th. Thursday. Lamar voted for the Gang of 8 amnesty bill. End of story. Get him out.

Michelle Malkin Blasts ‘Double-Talking Weasel’ Lamar Alexander

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2014/08/04/Malkin-Blasts-Double-Talking-Weasel-Lamar-Alexander

anotherJoe on August 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Heads Up:

2014 U.S. ELECTION CALENDAR

AUGUST 5, 2014:

Kansas – Primary Election
Michigan – Primary Election
Missouri – Primary Election
Washington – Primary Election

http://www.politics1.com/calendar.htm

canopfor on August 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/16/senate-republicans-paid-mississippi-attack-ads-pai/

Mississippi would have sunk any chance of a GOP takeover of the Senate, and would have endangered the House, had Obama not flooded the border with illegal aliens.

ConstantineXI on August 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

All I say is give me someone better than Joe Wilson (R-SC), then I will vote for him. I do not think that Wilson is the brightest bulb in the room.

SC.Charlie on August 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Now that the American people have seen the *ahem!* benefits of 404care, I wonder how many of these (un)worthies will win reelection…

Newtie and the Beauty on August 5, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I absolutely adore MY member of Congress!

Of course, he’s Louie Gohmert. Last election, he got 71% of the vote here.

This time, he may top that.

Tom Servo on August 5, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Mine is Thomas Massie, of the Kentucky 4th District.

ConstantineXI on August 5, 2014 at 2:14 PM

All I say is give me someone better than Joe Wilson (R-SC), then I will vote for him. I do not think that Wilson is the brightest bulb in the room.

SC.Charlie on August 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM

YOU LIE!

ConstantineXI on August 5, 2014 at 2:16 PM

You can thank John Boehner directly for how poorly the congress is perceived.

He is the worst speaker since Denny Hastard in their inability to speak directly to the people. Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi were great at it.

portlandon on August 5, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Go, Jim Jordan.

crankyoldlady on August 5, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Americans hate their own member of Congress, will vote reelect them this fall

Of course they will. Until people can translate failure of Congress as failure of their representation, the incumbency will continue unabated.

nobar on August 5, 2014 at 2:19 PM

I don’t think I’ll be allowed to cast a legal ballot for anyone but the Democrat incumbent, unless it’s for a Green party candidate. I will therefore not vote in that “race”.

malclave on August 5, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Americans hate their own member of Congress, will vote reelect them this fall

It’s safe to say you never heard of proofreading, right Noah?

Ted the Average on August 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

YOU LIE! – ConstantineXI on August 5, 2014 at 2:16 PM

That is what for what he is famous saying at Obama’s State of the Union Speech in 2009. But his interviews with the press are so damn lame. He later was forced to apologize for what he said by fellow Republicans. But what he did say was TRUE!

SC.Charlie on August 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Americans hate their own member of Congress, will vote reelect them this fall love spell checkers, but could use grammar checkers.

corona79 on August 5, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Trey Gowdy is my congressman.

No problems here.

jake-the-goose on August 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Of course, in Michigan, when we get a normal guy elected to Congress in Kerry Bentivolio, the establishment loses it and spends 4 million bucks to primary him.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

cpaulus on August 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

It’s safe to say you never heard of proofreading, right Noah? – Ted the Average on August 5, 2014 at 2:23 PM

We all need proofreaders. However, Noah should have one assigned to him to make sure such mistakes do not happen. He is in the business of writing. We are mere posters on Hot Air.

SC.Charlie on August 5, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Ole Frank Wolf (R-VA-10) is calling it quits. He’s been fairly reliable. A- with NRA, 0% with ACLU. So I’m kind of a lost soul this time around.

bernzright777 on August 5, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Trey Gowdy is my congressman.

No problems here. – jake-the-goose on August 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

He is young. I do wonder what his ambition in life happens to be? Does he want to be governor or does he want to be a Senator? Right now, he would have my vote for either office.

SC.Charlie on August 5, 2014 at 2:29 PM

2014 U.S. ELECTION CALENDAR

AUGUST 5, 2014:

Michigan – Primary Election

canopfor on August 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Yea I voted. Only minor offices had multiple candidates this time around. There were 2 proposals about taxes.

mechkiller_k on August 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Most Congressmen are Republicans and a big chunk of the Republican base is sick and tired of their own politicians. Add to that the permanent disapproval of Democrats for their opponents leaders and these numbers are not that surprising.

Red Widow on August 5, 2014 at 2:31 PM

About as close to a useless poll as one can get. When the numbers turn upside down, the poll needs to be broken down by district.

cozmo on August 5, 2014 at 2:32 PM

…so how come we never get periodic polls on how people feel about bureaucracies, like the IRS or Homeland Security…?

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 2:36 PM

I absolutely adore MY member of Congress!

Of course, he’s Louie Gohmert. Last election, he got 71% of the vote here.

This time, he may top that.

Tom Servo on August 5, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Ditto that and I want Trey Gowdy to run for President and Jeanine Pirro to be his VP.

cajunpatriot on August 5, 2014 at 2:38 PM

He is young. I do wonder what his ambition in life happens to be? Does he want to be governor or does he want to be a Senator? Right now, he would have my vote for either office.

SC.Charlie on August 5, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Pretty smart man – I hope he moves toward Governor

jake-the-goose on August 5, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I am fortunate to be represented by Sam Johnson. No complaints here.

Take note Juan McCain; this is how a POW is supposed to behave. BTW, did you ever build the dang fence?

stvnscott on August 5, 2014 at 2:39 PM

The devil you know versus the devil you don’t know.

socalcon on August 5, 2014 at 2:40 PM

“Americans hate their own member of Congress, will vote reelect them this fall”

The definition of “S-T-U-P-ID”

MicahStone on August 5, 2014 at 2:44 PM

While most analysts expect the 2014 midterm election cycle to take on a more anti-incumbent character than 2012 – and the polls indicate sustained, historic revulsion with Congress and its members – few political prognosticators are predicting a wave election along the lines of 2010 or 1970 (yet).


Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
My Congresscritter has been doing more tele-conference town halls since Eric Cantor lost his primary.

A LOT more.

But what does he know?

He’s just another one of these politicians the pundits keep telling THEY HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT

Maybe … just maybe … he knows BETTER than the pundits how volatile things truly are.

Just sayin’

PolAgnostic on August 5, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Interesting statistic: 93% of campaign spending is done by incumbents. It’s no wonder why incumbents win such a large percentage of elections.

bw222 on August 5, 2014 at 2:55 PM

The Gimmedats are spending like crazy to turn Arizona.
My District is stuck forever with Raul Grijalva (D-Mex) and his (private) motto is:
Un politico probre es un pobre politico.
(A politician who is poor, is a poor politician.)

Missilengr on August 5, 2014 at 2:57 PM

My congressman is Mike Rogers. Fortunately, he is retiring.

bw222 on August 5, 2014 at 2:57 PM

I loathed my rep, Connolly, until the 2010 census redrew my district lines. Now I have an outstanding rep in Rob Wittman.

freedomfirst on August 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

If people are just starting to dislike their guy, give a couple of cycles for the voting to catch up.

formwiz on August 5, 2014 at 3:09 PM

anotherJoe on August 5, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Amen! Preach it, Brother! And I know you are every chance you get. THANK YOU!

And while we are at it, we need to vote to REPLACE our Supreme Court (all Democrats, appointed by a Democrat Governor, Bredesen), (thanks to them we got stuck with a Democrat Attorney General who didn’t see fit to fight Obamacare!) and vote YES on Amendment 1.

How a state as conservative as Tennessee can send RINO’s like Alexander and Corker, and hold some of the most radical anti-life positions in the nation, thanks to the Democrat loaded Court, is beyond me.

pannw on August 5, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Americans hate their own member of Congress, will vote to reelect them this fall

Not me. I live in Eric Cantor’s district.

flipflop on August 5, 2014 at 3:11 PM

I loathed my rep, Connolly, until the 2010 census redrew my district lines. Now I have an outstanding rep in Rob Wittman.

freedomfirst on August 5, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I WAS in Wittman’s district until a few years ago, then got redistricted and ended up in Cantor’s. I liked Wittman…met him during the ’08 campaign and he actually seemed like he gave a crap about what his constituents thought.

flipflop on August 5, 2014 at 3:13 PM

this poll is BS; 99% of the incumbents have won their primary

burserker on August 5, 2014 at 3:15 PM

1. ‘Best-Of-2-Evils’ Strategy
– People don’t like either candidate but choose between the better of 2 ‘evils’…

2. ‘All But Mine’ Strategy
– People love their Reps who ‘bring home the baccon’ for them but hate all those other Reps wasting tax payer dollars.

Yet another reason why we need TERM LIMITS.

easyt65 on August 5, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Hate my senator, will work hard to unseat him. Time to dump Durbin.

My rep is okay and only on his third reelection. But, fourth term and out, no matter how good he is.

Fallon on August 5, 2014 at 3:28 PM

I despise my congressman: Baghdad Jim McDermott. Never voted for him and never will. Unfortunately, the only way he will leave office is stiff and on a stretcher. Seattle loves their wacko liberal reps.

Mallard T. Drake on August 5, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Noah should have one assigned to him to make sure such mistakes do not happen. He is in the business of writing. We are mere posters on Hot Air.

SC.Charlie on August 5, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Noah is a poster. We’re mere commenters.

DarkCurrent on August 5, 2014 at 3:36 PM

There are those that vote the straight ticket and ignore the the parties that make it. There are idiots on both sides of the aisle and there are idiots who vote the way they are told to vote.

mixplix on August 5, 2014 at 3:36 PM

If you believe this drivel, check into the nearest mental institution for immediate care. You shouldn’t be out in public without adult supervision. I wonder where all these career politicians came from, it certainly cannot be from all those constituents that hate them.

savage24 on August 5, 2014 at 3:51 PM

This is a familiar pattern in consumer research, where people hate the “company” as a whole but like the salesperson they deal with. In the 1970s, the Postal Service’s advertising agency conducted such research and found that people absolutely loathed the USPS but loved their letter carrier.

bgoldman on August 5, 2014 at 3:52 PM

I actually like my congressman. This will be his third term. He has been on board for the Fair Tax since it was first conceived. But believe me, I keep track of what he does and let him know if I think he is one the wrong track.

AS for my Senators, one is finally leaving (YEA) and the other I will work hard to get rid of in 2016.

Barred on August 5, 2014 at 3:55 PM

rep is Mike friggin Michaud (chellie pingree is for other 1/2 of state) and I got collins/king in senate.

dmacleo on August 5, 2014 at 3:58 PM

I really don’t care for my congressman any more – Doug Lamborn (R) Colorado – and I voted against him in the primary (for Bentley Rayburn, retired AF 2 star general).
Lamborn keeps trying to claim there are no VA problems in Colorado, thanks to his oversight of course – cough cough, ya right….
BUT, Lamborn won the primary anyway, so I will vote for him in the general, cuz there’s no way in he11 I’m voting for a Dem.

dentarthurdent on August 5, 2014 at 4:03 PM

I could describe in graphic and gory detail what I’d like to see “done.” Call me a dreamer.
MisterElephant on August 5, 2014 at 2:05 PM

You’re not the only one.

LoganSix on August 5, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Not me.

I used to love my congressman. Gave him a good bit of money for the last 12 years, volunteered on his campaigns.

Then 0bama either bribed or blackmailed him into becoming an amnesty supporter.

I no longer care who PRETENDS to represent me.

LegendHasIt on August 5, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Americans hate their own member of Congress, will vote to reelect them this fall

Not THIS American. I cast my vote for Milton Wolf today.

flyovermark on August 5, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Not THIS American. I cast my vote for Milton Wolf today.

flyovermark on August 5, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Right on! Great to hear. I really like Dr. Wolf. Here’s to hoping the rest of KS does the right thing!

Meople on August 5, 2014 at 5:14 PM

No establishment (R) will get a dime of support from me, let alone my vote.

People like McCain, Boehner, Cochran and McConnell are my new poster boys for Congressional term limits. Right along with Pelosi, Reid, Conyers, Schumer, and the rest of the America-Hating wing of Congress.

Meople on August 5, 2014 at 5:19 PM

In many places, as bad as the Representative is (and they can be very, very bad) their opponent is a hundred times worse. It almost seems as if the two parties decide which party will win a particular district and the other party will not run a viable candidate. That just leaves independents who are often fruitcakes.

Tinker on August 5, 2014 at 5:41 PM

I got to see Joe Carr here in our town a few weeks ago, and had a lunch with him at a local restaurant today two days before our August 7 election. He really speaks well and to the heart of important issues facing Tennessee, including Amnesty. And he did a great job of handling some extreme right wing questions about the NEW WORLD ORDER. A stand up guy, at a time when we need a real guy to stand up to Lamar Alexander. Fingers crossed for a wisened electorate in Tennessee.

red villain on August 5, 2014 at 6:15 PM

That headline isn’t always true – at least not here in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District (where the incumbent was beaten in a primary).

bgoldman on August 5, 2014 at 6:32 PM

My rep is Debbie Wasserpig-Schitz and let me tell you I have no problem voting against that incumbent. It’s just a shame that too many NY/NJ retards moved here and vote for that clown.

bbinfl on August 5, 2014 at 8:04 PM

#NoahCott

koaiko on August 5, 2014 at 8:05 PM