If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


49% Favor Less Time Between Election Day and the New Congress

Most new members of the U.S. Senate and House won’t be seated until two months after their election, and a plurality of Americans think that’s too long a time.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that a plurality (49%) of Likely U.S. Voters thinks the time between Election Day and the swearing-in of new Congress members should be shorter. Thirty-two percent (32%) disagree, and 19% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

It’s important to note that the question did not specify how much shorter the time period between Election Day and the seating of the new Congress should be.

Interestingly, in January 2008, voters tended to oppose shortening the time between Election Day and the presidential inauguration on January 20. Thirty-two percent (32%) said there should be less time between the two, but 48% felt otherwise.

Most voters think Congress should wait until the new members take office in January before tackling any major new legislation, but even more expect Democrats to try to pass major legislation anyway in the upcoming lame-duck session.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on November 9-10, 2010 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.

How do Republicans and Democrats feel about the amount of time between Election Day and when new members are sworn in to Congress? How do Political Class voters differ from Mainstream voters on this question? Become a Platinum Member to find out.

Want to read more?

Become a Rasmussen Reader to read the article

Have an account?

Log In

Become a Reader


Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.