Friday, August 01, 2014

Voters Are Still In An Anti-Incumbent Mood

The American voters are not too happy with anyone in Washington right now, but they are particularly angry with this Congress (which has been unable to compromise to solve any of this country's problems). I have posted before about the large anti-incumbent mood among voters -- and that mood continues to exist. In fact, it is larger than ever before.

Control of Congress was flipped in 1994 and 2010 -- both years with a high anti-incumbent feeling among voters. The percentage of Americans who thought most representatives didn't deserve to be re-elected in those years was 56%. The current percentage believing most representatives don't deserve re-election is much higher than that. It's currently about 69% (or about 7 out of 10 voters). And a record high national percentage (36%) say their own representative doesn't deserve re-election.

This should concern Republicans for a few reasons. First, because they hold the majority in the House and therefore have the largest number of representatives at risk of falling to this anti-incumbent feeling among voters. The second reason is that when Republican and Democratic districts are looked at, less than 50% of Republicans (44%) approve of their own GOP representative while about 56% of Democrats approve of their Democratic representative. Third, significantly less Republican voters are enthusiastic about voting than were in 2010, while the enthusiasm among Democrats is roughly the same.

I honestly think there is a real chance that control of the House of Representatives will flip over to the Democrats in the coming election. Of course is really will depend on how many voters show up at the polls (a large turnout favors Democrats) and who those voters are.

The chart below shows the current demographic breakdown of voter preferences for the coming election. As the chart below shows, significant majorities of men, Whites, seniors, and those making between $50k and $75K all prefer the Republican candidate -- while women, Blacks, Hispanics, young people, those making less than $50k, and the most educated Americans all prefer the Democratic candidate. All other groups are split (with their differences falling within the margin of error).

The charts above were all made with information contained in a recently released survey from the Pew Research Center. The survey was done between July 8th and 14th of a random national sample of 1,805 adults, and has a margin of error of 2.7 points (4.4 to 5.2 points for the individual groups).

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