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Most Members of Congress Should Not be Re-Elected, Say a Record Number of Voters

5 years ago
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The number of voters who believe most members of Congress deserve re-election has hit a record low in the 18 years since Gallup has been polling on the question.

Only 28 percent say most should get another term, compared with 65 percent who say they should not, according to the poll conducted March 26-28. The previous low had been 29 percent in 1992.

The 65 percent of registered voters who said most congressmen should not be re-elected was also a record, with 58 percent being the previous high, also in 1992.

When asked whether the member of Congress from the voter's own district deserves re-election, 49 percent said yes and 40 percent said no. In 2008, 62 percent said yes.

Republicans and independents feel most strongly about the question, with 83 percent of Republicans saying most members shouldn't be returned and 72 percent of independents agreeing. Forty-six percent of Democrats favor re-electing most members while 41 percent do not, with 12 percent undecided.

Republicans and Democrats come down on the side of re-electing the member of Congress in their own districts. Republicans say so by 48 percent to 42 percent with 10 percent undecided and Democrats feel that way by a 58 percent to 31 percent margin, with 11 percent undecided. Independents say by 46 percent to 43 percent, with 11 percent undecided, that their current member should not be re-elected. (The margin of error is 4 points).

"Voters' anti-incumbent mood is like nothing Gallup has seen in the past four midterm election cycles," the pollster said. "While that could have a negative impact on incumbents from both parties, the greater exposure of the Democrats by virtue of their majority status means greater risk for their candidates."

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