Friday, May 13, 2011

Likely Voters Believe Elections are Rigged to Favor Incumbents

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A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters think most members of Congress get reelected because election rules are rigged to benefit incumbents. Only 17% believe most congressmen get reelected because of the good job they do representing their constituents. A sizable 30% aren’t sure which is the case. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
I chose the name Reboot Congress for my blog back in 2008 largely because I was (and remain) frustrated with a system designed to reward incumbent legislators. I'm not at all surprised to learn that most voters seem to agree with me. I would like to see a constitutional amendment that prevents legislators from serving consecutive terms. This sort of change should be designed to prevent legislators from collecting campaign contributions while serving the public. The goal of such an amendment would be to mitigate incumbent advantage. Candidates that had served in years past might still have a slight advantage because of their experience, but the overwhelming effect of incumbency would not be there.

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