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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 08/10/2011

Record low inclined to reelect congressional representatives

In the wake of an unpopular debt deal and a first-ever credit downgrade for the United States, a record number of Americans say they’re apt to seek new congressional representation when the Nov. 2012 elections roll around, according to a new Washington Post poll.

A slender 17 percent of Americans say they’re inclined to vote to reelect their own representative, the fewest to say so in three decades of polling. This reelect number is down 13 percentage points in the past three weeks alone.

The fierce confrontation over extending the country’s debt ceiling is a likely culprit: 54 percent say they oppose the budget agreement to extend that limit and slash more than $2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. Fewer, 37 percent, back the deal, with only 6 percent “strongly” supportive. Fully 33 percent of those polled are “strongly opposed.”

Opponents of the budget deal are less likely than its supporters to say they’re likely to stick by their incumbent representatives.

The quick fall-off in the numbers inclined to reelect their congressional representative is evident across the political spectrum, but largest among independents. Only 12 percent of political independents say they’re inclined to reelect, down from 29 percent in a mid-July Washington Post-ABC News poll. In the new poll, 79 percent of independents say they’re likely to look around, a high, by far. 


This is the first release from the telephone poll conducted Aug. 9 among a random national sample of 601 adults. The margin of sampling error for results from the full survey is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Read the full poll results.

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By  |  11:25 AM ET, 08/10/2011

 
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