Much is being made about the ridiculously low approval rating for Congress in a new poll by the Associated Press. Just 5% of American say they like the way the Senate and the House are conducting business right now. The political pundits and the late night comedians are having a field day with this--pointing out that cockroaches and child molesters are more popular than politicians. With so much hatred toward those in Washington you would expect the 2014 Mid-term Elections to be a blood bath right? Well, it probably won't be.
Just by looking at the poll numbers, you would anticipate that 95% of Congress is on its way out the door--and that the House will flip to Democrats while Republicans will take over the Senate in a wave of anti-incumbent sentiment. But on November 4th of 2014 about 95% of those same lawmakers we rivile now will be going right back to Washington--leaving the so-called "experts" wondering where all of that voter outrage has gone.
Part of the problem is the poll poses a very broad question--asking people to consider Congress as a whole. A similar question asking what Americans think about their individual Congressperson or Senator would probably bring very different results. (Actually, the most common response would be "Um, I'm not sure who that is to be honest with you). Individual approval ratings would run much higher--because most voters don't see "their guy" as the one causing the "problems". "My guy is okay--it's the 'rest of them' that are creating this mess"--is the most common attitude. Do you really think that John Boener or Harry Reid are worried about losing their seat anytime soon? Politicians in districts or states considered to be more "in play" or "vulnerable" in 2014 are keeping their heads down on this one--or are trying to sound as "moderate" and "conciliatory" as possible--so they can come back next fall and tell everyone that they were "working behind the scenes to reach an agreement."
Plus, we are a full year and a month away from those mid-terms. The American voting public has a very short memory. That's why this government shutdown and debt limit crisis are happening in a non-election year--and why any solution to the issues will be conveniently pushed out beyond November 4th of 2014. Between now and then there will dozens of new "crises" that arise--are "solved" and also fade into memory. And the ads next fall will make no mention of these couple of months--focusing instead on unemployment, immigration, taxes, the failure of ObamaCare and the need to keep ObamaCare.
So hate on your Congressman and your Senator all you want this month. Come November of 2014, you'll likely be filling in the little circle next to his or her name again.