With all the controversies in D.C. going on, is it really surprising to find out that Congress’s approval rating is at an all time low? According to a new Gallup poll, that rating has fallen to a mere 10%. That rank places it last among 16 institutions that Gallup listed. People have lower confidence in Congress than they do banks, the criminal justice system and the police. Even HMOs rank higher than Congress.
The percentage of Americans expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress is the lowest for a trend that dates back to 1973. The high point for Congress, 42%, came in that year.
Confidence in Congress has been at its lowest points for several years, while it was higher in the mid-1980s and in the early 2000s.
And this rating shows across all political ideologies.
But as low as this approval rating is, will it result in changes in Congress? Will voters take their disapproval of the job that Congress is doing and use that in their decisions for who to vote for in 2014? Not likely. According to a Bloomberg Business Week report, Senator Mark Begich of Alaska boasts confidence that voters will continue to reelect incumbents.
They will judge their individual senators and congressmen based on what they’ve done. I think I’ve done a very good job representing Alaska’s needs and fighting against this broken system here. I’m probably in that 90 percent that is saying, we have to function much better here.
And that is the sad truth. While overall Congress receives an approval rating of only 10%, the majority of voting citizens never believe that it could be their Representative or Senator that is the problem. It is always the other guys. This shows in the overall reelection rate of incumbents that stays in the upper 90 percent range.
This is a prime opportunity for alternative parties to come out of the woodwork and convince those 90% of citizens that there is a different way. It is at this time of discontent that Greens, Libertarians, Justices and other reformers can capture the minds of the people and show how things will be better if they were elected to office over the Republicans and Democrats who continually fall out of favor. If they don’t, the people will continue to reelect what they deem “the lesser of two evils.”
With that in mind, the question becomes “If we keep reelecting the same people to office, how can we expect anything to change?”