CommunityElections

Congressional Approval on Track to Be Lowest for Any Midterm in 40 years

Americans rarely have a high opinion of Congress, but currently its support for the body has been at record lows. Unless there is some dramatic change in the next few months this election could feature the lowest Congressional approval ratings of any midterm election in the past 40 years. From Gallup:

Congressional Job Approval, Midterm Election Years, 1974-2014

Ideally, such poor numbers should have most incumbent members of Congress terrified, but that is not the case. In fact, the number of incumbents who are at serious risk of losing their seats this November is near historic lows. According to an analysis by FairVote, the number of naturally competitive districts has dropped to only 47 out of 435, and we can assume roughly 98 percent of incumbents will win re-election.

Given how incredibly insulated most members of Congress have become from electoral consequences it is no wonder the institution has become so unpopular. For the most part members simply don’t need to care about what voters think of their institution’s overall job performances.

That should be considered a serious crisis in a democracy.

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Congressional Approval on Track to Be Lowest for Any Midterm in 40 Years

Americans rarely have a high opinion of Congress, but currently its support for the body has been at record lows. Unless there is some dramatic change in the next few months this election could feature the lowest Congressional approval ratings of any midterm election in the past 40 years. From Gallup:

Congressional Job Approval, Midterm Election Years, 1974-2014

Ideally, such poor numbers should have most incumbent members of Congress terrified, but that is not the case. In fact, the number of incumbents who are at serious risk of losing their seats this November is near historic lows. According to an analysis by FairVote, the number of naturally competitive districts has dropped to only 47 out of 435, and we can assume roughly 98 percent of incumbents will win re-election.

Given how incredibly insulated most members of Congress have become from electoral consequences it is no wonder the institution has become so unpopular. For the most part members simply don’t need to care about what voters think of their institution’s overall job performances.

That should be considered a serious crisis in a democracy.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is now living in the Washington DC area. He created a politics and policy blog, The Walker Report (http://jwalkerreport.blogspot.com/).

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