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Congressional Performance

Americans Don’t Think Incumbents Deserve Reelection

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Incumbents might have something to worry about this November as voters do not think their local representative is good for the job nor that they deserve to be reelected.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 23% of Likely U.S. Voters think their representative in Congress is the best person for the job. This finding is up slightly from June which was the lowest finding since November 2009. A plurality (41%) believes their local representative is not the best person for the job. This is down six points from the previous survey and is the lowest finding since June 2013. Thirty-six percent (36%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of voters think their representative in Congress deserves reelection, up from 25% in June and in line with findings from March. In November 2009, 42% thought their representative deserved reelection. Forty-one percent (41%) now say their representative does not deserve reelection, but 31% are undecided.

Eight percent (8%) believe Congress is doing a good or excellent job, up slightly from September. Sixty-two percent (62%) rate its performance as poor, down slightly from the previous survey but in line with findings throughout the year.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters think most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for either cash or a campaign contribution, and 59% think it’s likely their own representative already has. 

Sixty-six percent (66%) think most members of Congress don’t care what their constituents think, while 16% are not sure. Fifty-one percent (51%) say their representative doesn’t care what they think, but 24% are undecided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 25-26, 2014 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.

Democrats continue to feel much more strongly than Republicans that their representatives in Congress are doing a good job fighting for what their party believes in. But most voters in both parties think the current Congress should be thrown out.

While both parties rate Congress’ performance as poor, Republicans are more likely to say their representative is the best person for the job and deserves to be reelected. Voters not affiliated with either major political party have the most negative opinions of their Congressman.

Adults under the age of 40 are less likely than their elders to say their Congressional representative is the best person for the job and are also less likely to say their representative deserves reelection.

Thirty-three percent (33%) of the Political Class think their local member of Congress is the best person for the job, but a plurality (45%) thinks they do not deserve to be reelected. Only 20% percent of Mainstream voters think their representative is the best person for the job and 45% are opposed to their reelection.

Democrats hold a one-point lead over Republicans in the latest Generic Congressional Ballot.

Check out our weekly election update to find out What America Thinks about the midterm elections.

Voters are almost evenly divided over how a candidate’s support of Obamacare will impact the way they vote this November

Voters are less likely to vote for a member of Congress who supported the president’s agenda. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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