Gallup poll suggests 'Congress could be in for a major shake-up'

 
 
U.S. Capitol Dome
U.S. Capitol Dome
Tish Wells / McClatchy

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Members of Congress could be in trouble in November.

Seventeen percent of registered voters think most members of Congress deserve re-election, far below the approximately 40 percent that, Gallup says, "has historically been associated with major electoral turnover."

As a result, a poll analysis finds, "Congress could be in for a major shake-up."

The 17 percent is a new low, as is another figure: 46 percent say their congressman in their district deserves re-election.

Here's Gallup's analysis of its Jan. 5-8 poll:

"Consistent with abysmally low congressional approval ratings and widespread dissatisfaction with the nation's system of government, the proportion of registered voters saying Congress deserves re-election has hit an all-time low of 17 percent. While Congress as an institution is no stranger to voter disenchantment, American voters are usually more charitable in their assessments of their own representatives in the national legislature. But even this has fallen to a new trough.

"Typically, results like these have presaged significant turnover in Congress, such as in 1994, 2006, and 2010. So Congress could be headed for a major shake-up in its membership this fall.

"However, unlike those three years, when one party controlled both houses of Congress, the beneficiary of the anti-incumbent sentiment is not clear in the current situation, in which one party controls the House and the other, the Senate. Partisans on both sides of the aisle are displeased with Congress. But with so few voters saying they are willing to re-elect their own representative, it suggests that many officeholders will be vulnerable, if not in the general election, then perhaps in the host of competitive primaries soon to take place."

 

 

a record-low percentage of registered voters, 46%, now say the U.S. representative in their own congressional district deserves re-election

Judging by net seats lost in an election as a percentage of the overall number of seats, 2010, 1994, and 2006 register as the top three recent elections. All of these years had election-year averages of 41% or fewer voters saying most of Congress deserved re-election, with the Republican-wave election of 2010 registering the lowest, 30% -- still 13 percentage points higher than the current reading.

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