It’s the old adage in political science: Americans hate Congress but like their congressman. But that might be changing.
According to a new Gallup Poll, a record low of people say their member of Congress deserves reelection. Among registered voters, just 46 percent say the member from their congressional district should get reelected.
This trend shows that voters no longer see their member as strictly a local representative fighting for that district but as a participant in the broader Congress, who is not necessarily working in their best interests.
Now, the first part of the old equation is still true: Americans really don’t like the rest of Congress. Along with overall support of Congress being incredibly low, the poll, conducted between Jan. 5 and 8, shows that only 17 percent of registered voters think that most members of Congress deserve reelection. The historical average of voters who think the majority of members deserve reelection hovered around 39 percent but has dropped sharply since early 2008, around the time of the economic crisis.
Overall, this poll is significant in that it shows public frustrations with the divisiveness and unproductiveness of Congress continue to seep into individual races. However — and this will be where this poll matters — the way some districts have been redrawn in recent years might not even allow a change in incumbents because the parties are so set in stone.
This factor only accounts for the general elections, though. The strong sentiment among voters might translate into primary challenges. That’s where the opportunity is for many of these voters, and that’s where a lot of the movement has taken place. The poll shows that an equal number (18 percent) of registered Democratic voters and Republican voters say most members deserve reelection. This frustration is not aimed at parties but at individual members.
Will there be a huge party turnover in Congress during the midterms? Not likely. But are some members at risk of getting a serious primary challenge? Quite possibly, and that’s why members should pay attention to this poll.
What We're Following See More »
Only a day after FiveThirtyEight's Now Cast gave Donald Trump a 57% chance of winning, the New York Times' Upshot fires back with its own analysis that shows Hillary Clinton with a 68% chance to be the next president. Its model "calculates win probabilities for each state," which incorporate recent polls plus "a state's past election results and national polling." Notably, all of the battleground states that "vote like the country as a whole" either lean toward Clinton or are toss-ups. None lean toward Trump.
On the second ballot, the Indiana Republican Party's Central Committee tapped Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb as their nominee to succeed Gov. Mike Pence this fall. "Holcomb was a top aide to former Gov. Mitch Daniels and Sen. Dan Coats and a former chairman of the state Republican Party."
"Negotiations are underway to have Bernie Sanders officially nominate Hillary Clinton for president at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, a move that would further signal party unity. According to a source familiar with the talks, the Vermont senator would nominate the presumptive Democratic nominee after the roll call vote."
Bernie Sanders said he'll begin pivoting his campaign to an organization designed to help candidates at the local level around the country. At a breakfast for the Wisconsin delegation to the DNC this morning, he said the new group will "bring people into the political process around a progressive agenda," as it supports candidates "running for school board, for city council, for state legislature."
Everything's getting contentious in Philadelphia this week ... especially the Senate race that's being contested there. "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty called her Republican opponent 'an asshole' while at a labor union event Monday at the Democratic National Convention. The comments about Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) came at a press conference with labor union leaders calling for raising the minimum wage. It was quickly followed by an apology." She immediately apologized in a statement.