Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Throw Your Rascal Out

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Congress has a 9 percent approval rating. We all know that.

But that's not going to result in equivalent turnover at the polls next November, since attitudes toward Congress are similar to the third-person effect: Congress sucks, but my representative is okay, so I'll vote her/him back in.

Right? Isn't that how you feel, for the most part? I do (although Amy Klobuchar's vote for the NDAA has me pretty steamed).

I'd like to think I'm wrong. The recent Pew Research Center poll found that, while 67 percent thought most members of Congress should be voted out, 50 percent think their own member deserves another term. Only 33 percent want their representatives replaced.

But I have to remind myself that's still a record high -- tied with 2010 when, as Pew reminds us, "fully 58 members of Congress lost reelection bids -- the most in any election since 1948."

Also, this:

Nearly half of Republicans (44 percent) disapprove of the Republican leadership, and 70 percent of Republicans want to see most members of Congress replaced (compared to 60 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents).
I could see voting in term limits, as long as ex-members are barred from lobbying or anything similar to lobbying. That, combined with the end of corporate personhood and real campaign finance reform, could result in a completely different Washington.

The full report from Pew can be found here.

1 comment:

Peter Hoh said...

How 'bout we call the electoral equivalent of a Chinese fire drill? At some given moment, all the representatives are forced to go before voters in a congressional district in another state.