Incumbents Winning Big in 2014 Primary Election Cycle
With the awful popularity of Congress and calls for changing the status quo, many pollsters and pundits predicted this year would be a hard one for incumbents, especially following the defeat of house Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Despite all the predictions and polls, incumbent Members of Congress have won a staggering number of primary races. There are nine state primaries left this year, and so far all 22 incumbent Senators running this year won their re-nomination, and 332 out of 335 House incumbents won their primaries. According to Kyle Kondik, the managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, this may be an above-average year for incumbents.
According to Gallup surveys dating back to the 1970s, there were only a few times Congress’ approval rating was over 50 percent. The new change, however, is disapproval with voter’s own incumbent. A recent poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News found a record-breaking 51 percent of Americans disapprove of their Member of Congress. And while that disapproval has translated to a drop in percentage incumbents are winning their primaries by, they are still winning the nomination. As Kondik writes, “In politics, as in life, the surer bet is on stability rather than change.”
Endangered Incumbents Most Likely to Buck Parties
There are less than a hundred members of Congress that have voted against their party more than 10 percent of the time. Of those hundred, the vast majority are vulnerable this election cycle, and they have been trying to distance themselves from an unpopular Congress.
In the top ten incumbents running for reelection, Representative John Barrow of Georgia has voted against his party 170 times, with fellow Democratic Representatives Ron Barber of Arizona and Collin Peterson of Minnesota close behind. They, as well as Republican Representative Chris Gibson of New York, will have very difficult races in November. Also in the top 10 are Representatives Justin Amash of Michigan and Walter Jones of North Carolina, both of whom faced strong opposition in the Republican primaries. With less than 14 percent of Americans approving of the job Congress is doing, these Representatives are hopeful that they can capture a slice of the 77 percent who disapprove.
Followup: Governor Rick Perry to Turn Himself in for Processing
Following indictment on two felony charges last week, Governor Rick Perry of Texas plans to turn himself in for fingerprinting and a mug shot on Tuesday, according to his office. In a statement, they said, “Governor Perry will appear for processing.”
For more details on the indictment and an explanation of the charges, please read our summaryhere.
And for our latest post: Is Congress Really “Useless”?