Why Americans Disapprove Of Congress by a Wide Margin But Habitually, Reelect Their Own Members of Congress
Despite the fact that Americans highly disapprove the work of the Congress, voters re-elect the majority of the Congress members in each election. The Americans largely perceive their own representatives positively compared to the entire Congress. Approximately, half of Americans approve the work of representatives from their congressional districts. Incumbents manage to be reelected because of their ability to obtain a lot of funds and organize robust campaigns (Davidson, Oleszek, Lee & Schickler, 2013).
Many people who disapprove Congress do not know their representatives’ name. Thus, they are not concerned about them. Moreover, such individuals are likely to assess the candidates mainly on their negative feelings concerning the manner in which the larger institution functions. Most Americans do not know much concerning their Congressional representatives, and they do not know most of the aspirants that vie in the primary; thus, they do not care (MacNeil & Baker, 2013). A few individuals who vote in the primaries are in most cases people of special interest groups who have become the incumbents’ supporters. The majority of the candidates are also renowned and recognized for several developments in their regions during their term in Congress. Such voters recompense incumbents for advantages they receive by voting for them. Others think that the incumbent has integrity from having won before and having working experience whereas the challengers are normally unknown. Therefore, individuals tend not to vote for aspirants they do not know, hence, preferring the incumbent (Borger, 2006).
Political parties have become marketing organizations, and they support philosophies that are organized to support the actions of candidates and their funders. The parties also provoke voters by criticizing their rivals and influencing them to back certain candidates. Voters are usually offered obvious choices, as many are given the choice of only a Democrat and a Republican and maybe a few unknown from minor parties. Most of the voters are Democrats or Republicans and usually support their party candidates. The independent voters tend to favor one party and in most cases vote for the party’s aspirants, resulting in the re-election of their members of Congress (Blendon & Benson, 2010).
In instances where incumbents belong to a favored party, voters may not like them; however, they regard electing the incumbent to be much better than choosing someone from the rival party. As a result, in regions where many voters support one party over the other, incumbents of such parties are often re-elected (Jones, 2016). Additionally, most of the people who vote believe that they are informed. However, the kind of information they acquire emanates from the candidates through email, campaign newssheets as well as other prejudiced details. Voters are often hesitant of being critical of incumbent chosen representatives. Americans who know their congressional representatives well are usually older, educated, and Republicans. Such a group of individuals normally votes, thus, illustrating the reason incumbents are re-elected despite Americans regarding the congress’ job as inadequate (Jones, 2011).
Many individuals listen to, watch, or read news often and believe that they are knowledgeable. However, even the informed individuals do not know their nominated officials well. Since citizens vote for people in elections and they represent them, their actions tend to be more significant. Details concerning issues, such as partisan warfare, political outrages, and the government weaknesses are not considered. People tend to have ignored this challenge and think that the important thing is citizens casting votes in elections, whereas good divisions are not important. Therefore, it is evident that the members’ re-election is as a result of partisanship as well as voter ignorance.
Blendon, R., & Benson, J. (2010). Public Opinion, the Deep Recession, and the 2010 Elections. Challenge, 53(5), 14-33.
Borger, G. (2006). Congress’s Real Crimes. U.S. News & World Report, 141(1), 34.
Davidson, R. H., Oleszek, W. J., Lee, F. E., & Schickler, E. (2013). Congress and its Members. cq Press.
Jones, P. E. (2011). Which Buck Stops Here? Accountability for Policy Positions and Policy Outcomes in Congress. The Journal of Politics, 73(3), 764-782.
Jones, P. E. (2016). Constituents’ Responses to Descriptive and Substantive Representation in Congress. Social Science Quarterly, 97(3), 682-698.
MacNeil, N., & Baker, R. A. (2013). The American Senate: An Insider’s History. Oxford University Press.