A new Gallup poll shows record levels of disapproval with most current members of Congress. When asked “Do most members of Congress deserve re-election,” only 28% responded "yes," while 65% said "no." That is lower than the previous record 29% set in 1992, and with a much wider gap between Yes and No than seen 18 years ago.
On the more important question of whether people think their member of Congress deserves re-election, the numbers are also some of the worst in twenty years. Only 49% believe their Representative deserves re-election, while 40% think they don't deserve to be re-elected. This marks the first time since 1992 that the number of registered voters who believe their own member of Congress deserves re-election has dropped below 50%. And, compared to 1992, the number of people who affirmatively believe they don't deserve re-election is significantly higher.
These historically bad numbers for incumbents point to an extremely high level dissatisfaction with members of Congress. It is safe to assume that much of the dissatisfaction stems from the current economic downturn and Washington's response to it.
Given that Democrats hold large majorities in both chambers, they are likely to disproportionately feel the brunt of this anti-incumbent anger in November. But I would not be surprised if this anti-incumbent wave ends up wiping out some fairly unlikely targets in both parties.
This is shaping up to be a very interesting November.