A poll that says that only 15% of respondents approve of the job Congress is doing is fairly meaningless. How many people reading this post approve of the job Maxine Waters is doing? Probably zero. However, in Maxine’s District, she won re-election in 2010 with 79% of the vote. Nancy Pelosi had a national approval rating in 2010 of 16%, she won re-election in her District by 80% of the vote. Charlie Rangel was under ethics violations and tossed out of his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee and was re-elected with 80% of the vote in his District. What people think of Congress is fairly meaningless because voters don’t vote for Congress. They vote for their representative and their Senator.
When asked if the respondent approves of the job their Congressperson is doing, the answer is usually over 50%, if the representative has a chance of being re-elected. Even now, when looking at Charlie Cook’s House ratings chart, I can count a worse case scenario of 13 GOP House members losing elections, but gaining 8 seats due to re-districting and retirements, with only a net loss of 5 seats. So, how can this poll be relevant to the re-election chances of Barry O’bama?