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Poll: Growing dissatisfaction with incumbents

Recent polls have indicated that voters hold Congress as a whole in low regard, but are more approving of their local incumbent. Now a new poll finds that dissatisfaction is even being expressed about local Congress members.  

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(Win McNamee, Getty Images)

The Washington Post/ABC news poll finds more than one in three Republicans and more than half of Democrats now say they are also dissatisfied with their incumbent Congress member…a departure from previous sentiment that saw voters more satisfied with their representative. And that local dissatisfaction is at record lows.

Political Scientist Brigid Harrison of Montclair State University says with so little being accomplished in Washington and Congress in recess, the elected officials are returning to their towns and many will interact with their constituents.

“You now have members going back into their districts over the summertime, and having to face voters,” Harrison said.

She says the disdain for Congress is well-documented, with one poll showing Congress’ approval rating as low as 5 percent. Harrison said that frustration and disdain are carrying over to individual members on Capitol Hill.

According to the poll, the approval rate represents a new low, “though it’s not significantly different from ratings last October (43 percent), immediately after the end of a 16-day partial government shutdown that sent Republican approval ratings through the floor.”

Harrison said voters who are disgruntled with Congress may either hold their nose and vote for their incumbent…or just stay home.

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