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50% Recognize that Most Americans Support Congressional Term Limits

Friday, March 25, 2011

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 50% of U.S. Likely Voters recognize that most Americans favor congressional term limits. Just 20% believe it is a view held mostly by conservatives. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Only eight percent (8%) think that hardly anybody supports term limits.

Support for term limits has remained high even after the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling that individual states did not have the right to place limits on its representatives. As a practical matter, that 1995 court decision means only Congress has the authority to place limits on itself--something that few observers consider likely.

Only 13% of voters nationwide currently think Congress is doing a good or excellent job.  Voters are evenly divided as to whether or not most members of Congress are corrupt. Just prior to the midterm elections last November, 62% of voters said it would be better for the country if most congressional incumbents were defeated, and only 37% felt their local representative deserved reelection.

Voters reject the argument that individual members get reelected because they do a good job representing the folks back home. Fifty-two percent (52%) believe that most members of Congress get reelected because election rules are rigged to their benefit

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 18-19, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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