All politics is local. And for the first time a new poll shows not only are Americans fed up with Congress, they are also fed up with their own individual member. This is a marked contrast from previous polls, when the sentiment was throw all the bums out, except mine.
A new George Washington University Battleground poll, released Monday, said nearly 60 percent of voters want someone new, and only 26 percent said they were planning on voting for the incumbent. Independents were among the most fed up, with 69 percent vowing to replace their member in 2014.[READ: Poll: Americans Unhappy with Obama]
“Voters clamoring to ‘throw the rascals out’ are unlikely to fade into the woodwork anytime soon, especially now that the average American ranks the inability of Washington to solve problems as a greater crisis than job creation, the economy and government spending,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who conducted the poll, writes in her analysis of the results.
Both Democrats and Republicans are vulnerable, Republicans because of the 16-day government shutdown, and Democrats as a result of the messy Obamacare rollout.
The battle lines for 2014, however, are drawn to the GOP’s advantage. Unlike in 1996 when Republicans faced an election-year backlash for a series of government shutdown shenanigans, a National Journal analysis finds that GOP members are “far more insulated against those gales.” According to the National Journal poll, there are only 17 GOP-controlled districts where President Barack Obama won election in 2012, whereas in 1995, there were 79 GOP-controlled districts that then-President Bill Clinton had carried, meaning a much bigger competitive map.[ALSO: House Won’t Take Up LGBT Protections]
Republican pollster Ed Goeas, who conducted the Battleground poll with Lake, argues while voters certainly blame the GOP for the shutdown more than they blame Democrats, it won’t be enough to change the dynamics in the House. Goeas argues that just 27 percent of voters polled said that it was the shutdown that made them less likely to vote for their member of Congress. Instead 47 percent polled said the shutdown would have no effect on how they cast their ballot in 2014.
Goeas says there is “a remarkable level of apathy” that doesn’t make it look as though there will be a wave election in 2014.