Time to clean House? Photo: (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that just 22 percent of Americans want to re-elect their representative in Congress — the lowest percentage since the question was first asked in 1989. A stunning 68 percent want someone new.
Does that mean we're about to see a wholesale turnover of our lawmakers in Congress?
Unfortunately, elections are more often than not choices between the lesser of two evils. And given the choice, Americans almost always stick with the incumbent.
In fact, the incumbent re-election rate since 1989 has been over 90 percent in every election year but two: In 2010 it was 84.9 percent and in 1992 it was 87.6 percent.
ABC News did a little math — a linear regression comparing the poll numbers with the actual incumbent election rate — and projects a re-election rate for incumbents this year of about 75 percent.
That's an amazing figure considering how many Americans say they want a new congressman.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 31, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- The economics of Halloween: By the numbers
Subscribe to the Week