It’s conventional wisdom: Americans don’t like Congress.
But when it comes time to vote, they usually don’t throw their lawmaker out of office.
However, new polls indicate that times and perceptions about “throwing the bums out” may be changing.
Those same surveys, as well as a veteran political handicapper, also suggest that one year before the 2014 midterm elections, the shutdown may provide the Democrats an opportunity to win back the House.
The public is clearly angry over the two week-long partial federal government shutdown and how the talks to avert or end the shutdown and extend the nation’s debt limit have been handled. And while polls suggest that more of the blame has been pointed at the Republicans in Congress rather than their Democratic counterparts or President Barack Obama, all sides are feeling the pain.
As history proves, House incumbents overwhelmingly get re-elected, even in wave years. Ninety-four percent of incumbents won in 2006, when Democrats re-took both houses of Congress. And 85% of incumbents won a return trip to Capitol Hill in 2010, when the GOP, thanks to a 63 seat pickup, took back control of the House. (Turnover in open seats where no incumbent was running accounted for the rest.)
But two new polls suggest that high retention rate could fall a bit in 2014.