If given the choice, a new poll reveals, 59 percent of Americans would sweep Capitol Hill clean of the current batch of senators and representatives to elect an entirely new Congress.
Only 17 percent of voters polled said they would be willing to keep the current legislature.
Rasmussen Reports conducted the national telephone survey on the heels of Congress passing a widely unpopular financial bailout bill, revealing a significant amount of voter dissatisfaction with the nation’s current lawmakers.
The polling firm records a mere 30 percent of voters approved of the bailout, while 45 percent were opposed, and yet Congress passed it, leaving behind some highly critical voters.
The new poll shows only 23 percent of Americans have even a little confidence in the ability of Congress to address the nation’s economic problems, and 76 percent doubt that most federal legislators even understand bills before they vote on them.
Further, less than half (49 percent) believe the current Congress is any more capable than a group of people plucked from the phone book, and nearly a third (33 percent) think the phone book Congress would do a better job.
Despite the lawmakers’ dismal 11 percent approval rating, Rasmussen Reports pointed out that 90 percent of Congress is likely to remain following this November’s election.
Rasmussen Reports dug into history to reveal that for well over 100 years after the U.S. Constitution was adopted, congressional turnover in national elections averaged about 50 percent. Following the New Deal era, however, those numbers began to decline. Since 1968, no national election has managed to muster even a 10 percent turnover.
The poll showed, however, that despite overall dissatisfaction, Democratic voters were more hesitant to throw the out the current, Democrat-controlled Congress.
Only 43 percent of the voters polled from Barack Obama’s party were willing to sweep Capitol Hill clean. Among Republicans, 74 percent wanted to throw the whole batch out, and 62 percent of unaffiliated voters were willing to join in.
Even so, when asked if they would vote to keep the current Congress, only 25 percent of Democrats polled said yes.