Outlook for congressional incumbents dismal, poll finds


McClatchy Washington Bureau

It could be a rough year for congressional incumbents.

“Even though the vast majority of congressional incumbents who are seeking re-election this year will win, the likelihood of an incumbent winning appears as if it is on track to be lower than usual,” said a Gallup poll analysis released Wednesday.

It found the percentage of registered voters who think most members of Congress and their own member deserve re-election are “at or near lows compared with prior election years, which indicates a more challenging environment for incumbents.”

Twenty-two percent said most members of Congress should be re-elected, but 72 percent said they did not. “The ‘deserve re-election’ figure is on pace to be the lowest Gallup has measured in an election year,” the poll analysis found.

Here’s more:

“These results are based on an April 24-30 Gallup poll of 1,336 registered voters. The percentage of voters saying most incumbents deserve re-election is up slightly from the 17 percent Gallup measured in January. But even with the slight increase, the current 22 percent is lower than Gallup has measured in any other election year. The only other sub-30 percent readings before this year were 29 percent in October 1992 and 28 percent in both March 2010 and June 2010.

Democratic registered voters (28 percent) are slightly more likely than Republican registered voters (22 percent) to say most members of Congress deserve re-election. Independent voters, at 16 percent, are least likely to believe this.”

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