Thursday, July 14, 2016
Voters Don't Believe They Have An Influence On Congress
The job approval numbers for Congress have been extremely low for a couple of years. The chart above helps to explain why. The people in the congressional districts don't believe their members of Congress listen to them when it comes to how they will vote. And the remarkable thing is that the perception is the same for members of both political parties, independents, and the public in general.
About 62%-67% believe congresspeople vote the way their major donors tell them to vote -- and 53%-59% also believe lobbyists have a huge influence on those in Congress. But only 14% believe those in Congress are influenced by the people in their own district.
In short, most people believe we live in a plutocracy rather than a democracy -- where Congress has been bought by the rich and powerful and their lobbyists. I would love to say they are wrong, but I'm not at all sure that would be true.
The rich, the corporations, and powerful special interests always seem to get what they want from Congress. But the people seldom do, even when polls show they overwhelmingly want something. Take for instance the 80% to 90% support for background checks on all gun sales -- or the huge support for protecting Social Security and Medicare, and the majority support for raising the minimum wage to a livable wage.
The people want those things to be done, but the Republican-controlled Congress won't listen.
The chart above was made from a recent Gallup Poll -- done between June 1st and 5th of a random national sample of 1,027 adults, with a margin of error of 4 points.