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August 09, 2011

On That Poll About Congress: Most Don't Want Their Own Representative Reelected

I forgot to call this figure out.

Usually we sort of blow off Congressional disapproval because while voters don't like the other Congressmen that other districts have elected, they like their own.

That's now not true, for the first time in history.

Only 41 percent of people questioned say the lawmaker in their district in the U.S. House of Representatives deserves to be re-elected – the first time ever in CNN polling that that figure has dropped below 50 percent. Forty-nine percent say their representative doesn’t deserve to be re-elected in 2012. And with ten percent unsure, it’s the first time that a majority has indicated that they would boot their representative out of office if they had the chance today.

So, that's bad. Allah considers my own discounting of this poll:

The only problem with that theory: The recent polls on the debt-ceiling deal show that somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of the public either likes the amount of spending cuts in the deal or thinks they should have gone further. The public also likes the balanced-budget amendment that House tea partiers were pounding the table for, so there’s no obvious substantive reason why they’d punish the tea party in polls now. So why the backlash, then? Presumably it’s because of the tactics. Maybe they didn’t like the brinksmanship with the economy in the middle of a hellishly slow “recovery.” The Democrats’ strategy, led by President Present, is to sit back and let the tea party bleed some of its popularity on an aggressive “tough choices” agenda and the occasional serendipitous (for Democrats) political overreach. That way, when the real battle finally begins over entitlements, independents will be more suspicious of the tea-party brand than they were before. It’s a gutless, cynical, irresponsible strategy given the magnitude of our spending problem, but it’s not stupid. It may have worked to some extent here.

Yeah, I don't know.

Commenter suggest that a great amount of disapproval comes from the right wing, angry that their Republican Congressmen compromised too much and accomplished too little.

There's nothing wrong with that theory, but I never know how to tally it on the other side -- presumably, liberals are also annoyed their Congressmen didn't fight harder to destroy the American economy. So are we to take that as a net wash, or what?

One thing, though: Given, as Allah says, that the public believes that the cuts should have been deeper -- couldn't this re-elect number implicate House Democrats more than House Republicans?

Counting against that is that House Democrats actually have higher approval ratings than House Republicans.

I really don't get these polls. All I can think is the public is revolting over the truth -- the truth, yes, that they're going to have to make some hard choices, and cannot continue simply telling their elected representatives to choose both lower taxes and higher spending and throw the difference to their children in the form of debt.

Now being confronted with the fact that this is unwise and, increasingly, impossible, perhaps they're just angry at having been lied to previously.

Although they weren't really lied to. It takes two to tango. They wanted to be told stupid lies and voila!, the created a political class that told them stupid lies.

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posted by Ace at 08:08 PM

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