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Only 16% Think Country Would Be Better Off If Most Incumbents in Congress Reelected

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Voters are less supportive than ever of congressional incumbents and fewer than one-out-of-three think their own representative is the best person for the job.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 16% of Likely U.S. Voters feel that, generally speaking, it would be better for the country if most incumbents in Congress were reelected. That’s a seven-point drop from 23% last August and down from 19% in February 2010.

Fifty-six percent (56%) say it would be better if most incumbents were defeated and 28% are not sure (To see survey question wording, click here).

Forty percent (40%) of voters believe, regardless of how Congress is doing overall, that their local congressional representative deserves to be reelected, comparable to findings in previous surveys. Now, however, only 28% say their local congressman does not deserve reelection versus 39% last August and 42% in November 2009. One-in-three voters (32%) are not sure whether their local representative deserves reelection or not.

Thirty-one percent (31%) think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job, up slightly from last August but in line with findings the previous fall. Just as many (32%) disagree and say they’re not the best, but that’s down from 44% in the previous survey and 42% in 2009. The big shift again seems to be to the undecided category with 37% of voters now not sure.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on March 26-27, 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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