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Hmm, 57% say they'd replace entire Congress -- yet voters keep reelecting incumbents

September 2, 2009 |  5:38 am


More than half of American adults would vote to replace the entire membership of Congress, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports.

The results speak to long-escalating frustrations with congressional inaction and poor execution, as well as to economic fears and uncertainties.

But it still doesn't explain why, election after election, the American public reelects incumbents almost without fail. Maybe it's the classic case of "we hate Congress -- but we love our congressman."

The Rasmussen telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters nationwide found that 25% would stick with the current batch of legislators. On the flip side, 57% would eject the whole lot of them. The findings haven't changed much from the last poll, Rasmussen Reports says.

That's all well and good, but we have to ask: What would it take for you to actually vote out your congressman?  With reelection in many cases hovering above 90%, we have to assume Americans really do like their representatives -- but hate everybody else's.

Alaska gave one of its senators, Ted Stevens, repeated do-overs after a string of controversies and a brief stint as the butt of every joke online (after discovering that the Internet is not a "series of tubes").  Even when he was unseated last year by Democrat Mark Begich, Stevens lost by barely 1 percentage point.

So, ladies and gentlemen of Congress, there you have it.  Just don't use your power to dishonestly inflate your bank account, and your job should be safe.  But, apparently, America will still say it hates you.

-- Mark Milian

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Photo: Protesters outside the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless' Stout Street Clinic in Denver last month during a visit by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Credit: Associated Press