So Gallup says that Congress' approval rating is at 13%, tied for an all-time low. You might be tempted to think that this bodes ill for the current members of Congress, but I'd like to point out a few things that may help explain why low approval ratings probably won't translate into a lot of carnage for Congressional incumbents on Election Day 2012:
- I bet if you did a separate poll for each member of Congress that asked his or her constituents how they were doing you'd get numbers showing a much higher approval rating.
- I bet most of us think we do a fine job selecting our own Congresscritters, but the idiots in other parts of the country are TERRIBLE at selecting theirs.
- The vast majority of incumbents will be facing off against people who are no great shakes themselves, and who are likely to be running poorly funded campaigns. We tend to vote for the folks who spend the most to buy our love, so this doesn't bode well for challengers.
Sadly I don't have much hope for getting an improved Congress because I don't have a lot of confidence in the rest of us demanding one.