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We Hate You, But We Vote For You Anyway

Obama has a 54% disapproval rating. The Democratic Party has a 61% disapproval rating, making the party in general even more unpopular. But nobody beats the Republican Party, which has a whopping 72% disapproval rating. In fact, 47% of Americans – nearly half – say they “strongly” disapprove of the GOP.

And yet, according to FiveThirtyEight politics, Republicans have a 59% chance of winning enough seats in the November election to get control of the Senate. Note that their forecast is updated regularly based on new polls, so the numbers might change slightly by the time you click on the link, but that’s a pretty significant lead.

So, how can around half the country “strongly” disapprove of the Republican Party, and yet we are ready to hand control of both the House and the Senate to them? Because ironically, many of the people who hate the Republican Party … are Republicans. While 63% of Democrats approve of their party’s delegation in Congress, only 34% of Republicans approve of their GOP Congress-critters. They may hate their representatives, but they will almost certainly still vote for them anyway (maybe because someone even more right-wing isn’t on the ballot).

Is this just an example of “haters gotta hate“? (Go ahead, click on that link. You’ll be glad you did!)

And the House is even more screwed up, mainly because of gerrymandering. In 2012, 1.4 million voters picked Democratic representatives over Republican ones, but the GOP won a 33 seat advantage anyway. And 2014 will probably be just as bad.



  1. Michael wrote:

    “[O]nly 34% of Republicans approve of their GOP Congress-critters. They may hate their representatives, but they will almost certainly still vote for them anyway.” As the “Government is always the problem” philosophy is so prevalent among Republicans, it makes perfect sense that they would vote for the party that causes government to fail. They are ideologically committed to preventing progress in any way possible. What better way to do this than to vote for the party that spends all its time in Congress pushing for things that it knows to be futile (Benghazi investigations, ACA repeal, etc., etc.).

    Monday, September 15, 2014 at 6:58 am | Permalink
  2. PatriotSGT wrote:

    “the party that causes government to fail”

    “ideologically committed to preventing progress in any way possible”

    Sounds like your ideologically opposed to any differing viewpoint.

    Our system of government was created so that no one person or party can gain enough power to control all, for very long. Bush had a Democratic congress/senate to work with his last several years, Obama will have his turn after having absolute power his first 2 years. Before them Clinton saw his challenge. Way before him #1 had to contend with opposite philosophies in his own cabinet and deliberately chose that to avoid, in part, becoming the first King. I think the system works fine although it drives both sides absolutely crazy. Frankly, while I’d like to see both sides work together a little more, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  3. TJ wrote:

    Obama did not have absolute power at any time. He did have a favorable Congress with a precarious 60 vote margin in the Senate for 2 years, but that is still not “absolute power.” And even at that it took months for Al Franken to be seated and 2 of the 60 were actually Independant and not simply rubber stamps for Obama.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Permalink
  4. Michael wrote:

    Which party chose to filibuster just about everything during the 111th Congress, requiring a 60-vote majority for even rudimentary bills? Which party turned the routine debt ceiling debate in 2011 into the first-ever downgrading of the U.S. credit rating? Which party used the debt ceiling debate again in 2013 to force a government shut-down unless their agenda (all cuts, no tax increases) was met? Which party’s Congressional leaders held a meeting days after the 2008 election in which they plotted out their commitment to ensuring Obama would become a one-term President, rather than how they would work with him to make the country better? To which party did the speaker of this sentence belong: “[G]overnment is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

    I’m not ideologically opposed to differing viewpoints. I am ideologically opposed to starting from a baseline assumption that everything the government does is wrong and doomed to failure. I am also ideologically opposed to the notion that the Senate must operate under super-majority requirements for all orders of business. I am also ideologically opposed to threatening the long-term good of the country for short-term political stunts, which is what we have seen over and over and over and over for the past 6 years.

    Look at the number of votes for cloture over the history of our government. For the past 6 years, the Republican party (not necessarily Republican individuals with whom I may disagree…but the actual ones in Congress) have committed to a scorched earth policy that has caused real, demonstrable economic harm for the sole purpose of undermining the Obama presidency.

    Monday, September 15, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  5. Ralph wrote:

    The system in DC has become obscenely and perhaps irreversibly corrupted by a combination of politically motivated gerrymandering, unlimited and anonymous money infusion (i.e. payoffs/buyouts) and the revolving door of officeholders and lobbyists to the point of being unrecognizable by the Founders, who never envisioned professional politicians flooding the system.

    We now live under a system more properly defined as a plutocracy more than anything resembling a democracy or republic. If money is free speech, as the wise guys of SCOTUS would have us believe, then the growing level of income inequality becomes, by definition, inversely proportional to our effective exercise of the First Amendment.

    It makes me wonder whether this tangible erosion of the First Amendment has any bearing on the growing extremist positions we see being taken around the Second Amendment. When people feel their voices aren’t being heard, at some point they seek another way. But I digress.

    “A republic, if you can keep it.” – Benjamin Franklin

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink