41% Say Random Selection From Phone Book Would Do A Better Job Than Current Congress
Tuesday's primaries were more proof of the anti-incumbency mood felt in many parts of the nation, and a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds that many voters continue to feel a randomly selected sample of people from the phone book could do a better job than their elected representatives in Congress.
The latest national telephone survey of Likely Voters finds that 41% say a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress. Almost as many (38%) disagree, however, and another 20% are undecided.
These findings show little change from early January and early September 2009. However, the number of voters who feel a random selection could do better is up eight points from early October 2008, just before the presidential election.
Yet while 57% of Mainstream voters think a random selection from the phone book would do a better job than the current Congress, 90% of the Political Classdisagree.
Only 32% of all voters are at least somewhat confident that their representatives in Congress have the voters' best interests in mind. Sixty-six percent (66%) don't share the confidence, down 10 points from October 2008.
Again, while 79% of the Political Class are confident that their members of Congress do have their best interests at heart, 84% of Mainstream voters don't see it that way.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 18-19, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters think most members of Congress get reelected because the election rules are rigged to benefit incumbents. Only 20% say they get reelected because they do a good job representing their constituents. But 31% are not sure why most member of Congress are reelected. These findings show little change from early January.
A majority (57%) say members of Congress are paid too much, while just six percent (6%) feel they are paid too little. Twenty-nine percent (29%) feel members of Congress are paid just the right amount. These findings show little change from January and September 2009, but are up eight points from October 2008.
Since Democrats hold a majority in both the House and the Senate, perhaps it’s no surprise that 55% of Republicans say a random selection of people from the phone book would do a better job than Congress, a view shared by just 21% of Democrats. Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters not affiliated with either major party agree.
Fifty-three percent (53%) of Democrats express confidence in their representatives in Congress. An overwhelming majority (81%) of GOP voters and 77% of unaffiliateds have little or no confidence in their congressional representatives.
Just 20% of all voters believe that most members of Congress always get reelected because they do a good job representing their constituents.
Republican candidates now hold a five-point lead over Democrats in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot, a further narrowing of the gap between the two parties to the smallest margin this year.
Most voters believe it would be better for the country if most of the current members of Congress were not elected this November.
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