The Illogical House Election Results

The election was over three weeks ago, and most of our focus was on Barack Obama and John McCain. But, I thought it would be good to take a look at the results for the House of Representatives. It was widely publicized that Congress had very low approval ratings coming into the election. According to these polls, it has been hovering between 15% and 20%.

So, with these low approval ratings, how did they fare? Out of the 435 House seats, thirty-one incumbents retired and another four were defeated in the primaries. That left an even 400 up for re-election on the 4th. Eighteen incumbents were defeated. With collective job approval ratings of no more than 20%, 95.5% of the House was re-elected. (Note: not all results are final yet.)

The only (il)logical explanation for this is that everyone must think that their congressman is ok - it’s all the rest of them that are problems. Unfortunately, most Republicans vote the same as other Republicans, and most Democrats vote the same as other Democrats. If you like your representative, that should imply that you like the rest of the representatives of the same party. With 20% approval ratings, this leads to a logical inconsistency.

Voters need to wake up. If they are not happy, they need to do something about it. We need to either vote them out, or work to get better candidates on the ballot.

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