Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Poll: 53% of Americans Satisfied with House and Senate Candidates; Independent and Independent-Leaning Republicans Least Satisfied


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While 73 percent of Americans say most members of Congress do not deserve to be reelected this November, Reason-Rupe finds that 53 percent are yet still satisfied with the candidates running for Congress in their own districts. However, only 9 percent report being "very satisfied" while 44 percent are "somewhat satisfied." Thirty-four percent are unsatisfied (20% somewhat, 14% very), while 12 percent don't have an opinion.

In keeping with America's federalist tradition, Americans are more supportive of candidates closer to home. Fifty-seven percent say they are satisfied with candidates for state level offices, and a third are dissatisfied. Slightly more, 62 percent, are satisfied with candidates for local level offices, and a quarter are dissatisfied.

Strong Democratic (60%) and Republican (56%) partisan voters are about equally likely to report satisfaction for their districts' House and Senate candidates for the upcoming midterm elections. Only 3 in 10 report dissatisfaction with state-level candidates.

However, independent and independent-leaning Republican voters are least likely to be happy with candidates running in their districts. Instead, 53 percent of non-partisan independents and 48 percent of independent-leaning Republican voters say they are dissatisfied with the House and Senate candidates running in their districts. Independent-leaning Democrats are similar to strong Democrats with only 30 percent dissatisfied.  

Similarly at the state-level, pluralities of Independents and independent leaning-Republicans are dissatisfied (roughly 46%) with state level candidate options, while about 4 in 10 are satisfied. Conversely, majorities (6 in 10) of strong partisans are satisfied with state-level candidate choices, and 27 percent are dissatisfied.

Independents are more supportive of local-level candidates. Both partisan and independent leaners are satisfied with candidates for local level offices—roughly 60 to 70 percent. About a quarter are dissatisfied.

Only at the local level do a plurality (48%) of non-partisan independents report satisfaction with candidate options, with a third dissatisfied.

Taking a closer look at who these dissatisfied voters are reveals they tend to come disproportionately from independent and independent-leaning Republican voters, are more male (57%), and are more likely to favor smaller government and free market solutions to complex economic problems.

These results comport with oft-found survey results that Americans dislike Congress but like their own member of Congress. They also demonstrate that candidates running closer to home receive higher marks than federal-level candidates.

These data also suggest that Republican candidates must deal with more unpredictable voters, as independent-leaning Republicans are considerably less happy with their candidates than independent-leaning Democrats and partisan voters.

The Reason-Rupe national telephone poll, executed by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, conducted live interviews with 1004 adults on cell phones (503) and landlines (501) October 1-6, 2014. The poll's margin of error is +/-3.8%. Full poll results can be found here including poll toplines (pdf)  and crosstabs (xls). 

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13 responses to “Poll: 53% of Americans Satisfied with House and Senate Candidates; Independent and Independent-Leaning Republicans Least Satisfied

  1. In the immortal words of Dick Tuck, “the voters have spoken, the bastards!”

  2. 53% of Americans probably pay almost no attention, other than looking to see if there is a candidate for the party actually running. If they even bother to do that. On election day, they will simply go to their polling place and choose the names next to the “D” or “R”.

    I would like to see references to party affiliation removed from all public (ie. published by the government) voting material. At least then they would have to make the effort to save the list of candidates sent to them by their registered party.

    1. You’re trying to disenfranchise voters who are literally too fucking stupid to remember who to vote for!

      Of course, you would also have to ban those ass holes who stand outside the polling places handing out the “how to vote the way we want you to vote, you mindless fuck” flyers that tell them which candidates and ballot issues are D/R approved.

      1. I’m super pissed that I live in a state that doesn’t allow straight-ticket voting [who would want to split a ticket, anyway? A moron?] and also stupidly changed “party affiliation” to “party preference”


        1. Explain why you think those things, please. Surprising to read that sentiment.

      2. I thought those types already had to stay at least 100 feet away from a polling place?


        Yeah. The law. Go figure.

  3. , Reason-Rupe finds that 53 percent are yet still satisfied with the candidates running for Congress in their own districts

    Yeah, this is obvious by the continued incumbent re-election rates that history keeps shoving down our throats.

  4. If you’re satisfied, there is a 100-1 chance you’re not paying even a little attention.

  5. I’m curious what the Millennials think.

    1. Sixty seven percent seem happy with the status quo.

  6. At least 3 of the 5 pictured aren’t Senate OR House candidates.

  7. I’m satisfied with my choices for assembly, because one of them’s me.

  8. Poll: 53% of Americans Satisfied with House and Senate Candidates

    53% of Americans are really, really stupid.

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