Thursday, July 06, 2017

COTW: The Snail's Pace of Change

A reader might ask, why do national politics in the US seem so difficult to change? One reason is that incumbents, especially in the House of Representatives, have an enormous advantage over challengers.  In 2016 the entire House of 435 seats were up for election.  Of the 390 races in which incumbents ran for re-election, they won a staggering 96.4% of the contests. Democrats needed to win a net thirty seats to take over the House.  They won only a net 6. Yet, despite repeatedly voting for incumbents, 'Mericans hold Congress in very low regard with polls from various news sources averaging an approval rating of 14%. Apparently, Congress is another case of getting what you pay for. This chart shows the steadily increasing number of business people holding congressional office:
credit: Brookings Institute