Less than 30% of voters say they will support their Representatives in the November elections

There is significant voter discontent. And it’s not just against Democrats.

So if there is so much dissatisfaction…is the time ripe for a new party to emerge? Maybe…but it doesn’t appear to be the tea party movement.

I am of the opinion that the dissatisfaction is less tied to party affiliation but more tied to “establishment politicians” from either party. Sounds like the non-partisan GOOOH organization may have quite a bit of support.

Dissatisfaction might just keep people at home which would benefit the Dems more.

I will eat my hat if voter behavior doesn’t return 85%+ of incumbents to their seats (discounting retirements).

The interesting thing to me in that poll is the apparent dissatisfaction with the tea party folks. I think that thing is going to burn itself out and a LOT of potential politicos are going to find they’ve backed the wrong horse and aborted some careers before they really got started.

Hm? I’m pretty sure that the party which is typified by irregular and low turnout is the Democrats. People staying home generally means Democrats staying home, which means a proportionately higher turnout of Republicans.

Out of 435 Representatives up for election this year at least 400 of them will be returned, no matter what these polls say. A similar proportion of Senators will be returned as well. Bank on it. It’s long been demonstrated that around 90% of incumbents get re=elected.

Given that 37 House incumbants have announced plans not to run again, I bet you’re wrong.

I think the point is that such things tend to benefit incumbents - which as far as the House goes, benefits the Democrats.


Here’s a link to an attempt to correlate voter dissatisfaction with incumbents to actual voting out of incumbants.

They are weakly correlated, but even with our current high rate of voter dissatisfaction, the predicted turnover rate is…13%.

Out of curiousity, what percentage of Congresscritters actually face challengers in a given cycle?

Depends on how acceptable the challenger seems to be. Dissatisfaction with the incumbent, combined with an attractive alternative, tends to bring voters out. If the common view is “Yeah, well, the other guy’s no better”, that would tend to depress turnout, wouldn’t it?

In general, perhaps, but the current incumbents came in on Obama’s coattails, elected by an irregular turnout of Democrats. Usually the incumbents have a strong position because turnout is pretty similar from year to year. If it goes back to the old turnout, then you end up with a voting pattern that doesn’t line up well with the 2008 results.

I disagree. An incumbent gets their strength from voters’ habit and inertia. Obama may have broken that inertia to get them in, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get tossed just because Obama isn’t on the ticket this year.


As much as I’d like to see a third party gain some ground, I just don’t see it. I think, in the end, people will either lack the motivation to vote and stay home, or they’ll be afraid of “throwing their vote away” and continue to pick the lesser of two evils.

Good point, but I bet most of those seats will stay with the party of the retiring incumbent. People have hated Congress at a very high rate for years, but unfortunately, they think the appropriate punishment is re-electing them so they can hate them some more.

Looks like Blanche Lincoln won, so effective incumbent discontent appears to be concentrated on the Republican side tonight.

That poll looks pretty worthless to me.[ul]
[li]They polled random people. No effort to select people who are actually registered to vote, or with a history of actually voting. And since something like 40% of the people don’t vote, their opinions don’t matter (but they are counted in this poll).[/li][li]They polled people with phones (who would answer an unknown caller). That will likely bias the poll, in various ways.[/li][li]Unlike actual voting, the question is open-ended. There is a major difference in answers between “Will you support John Smith?” and "Who will you support, John Smith or Bill Jones?" People tend to be much more negative when comparing a person to an idealized opponent vs. comparing them to another real person.[/li][/ul]

Ah yes. The methodology the Literary Digest used to successfully predict the election of President Landon! :wink:

Oh yeah - voters are primed to throw incumbents out! Why in Tuesdays primaries of the 84 incumbents running in primaries only 82 won!

That didn’t work out so well, huh?

Primaries are different. Apart from anything else, the incumbent typically gets the nmational party’s support (and money).

I heard that 84 out of 88 incumbents won Tuesday. That is hardly a rejection of the ins. People say they will kick out the pols, but they don’t.

I find it rather impressive that you managed to miss the last two posts in a one-page thread.