This may be the most fractious Congress in recent memory, but legislators have nevertheless managed to unite a majority of Americans–in opposition to incumbents’ open-ended service!
In a Gallup poll released Friday, Americans across the board–Republicans, Democrats, Independents, of all ages–are overwhelmingly in favor of a Constitutional amendment that limits the terms a Congressman can serve. The statistics are an interesting development considering the results of the last election, when most incumbents (91%) were returned to the U.S. House and Senate. The logical conclusion might be that voters are saying, “I like my Congressman; I don’t like yours.”
Regardless of motive, the percentages are clear. Republicans are the most likely to vote for a Constitutional amendment that would limit terms, at a whopping 82%! Independents follow with 79% in favor. Democrats trail behind, with 65%. Viewing the population by age, there is virtually no generational difference on this issue. Across all age groups, support ranges from 73% to 77%.
In a further reflection of dissatisfaction with politics as usual, Americans also want to eliminate the Electoral College with an amendment. While the percentages aren’t as large, the level of agreement among groups is much closer. The percentages wanting to do away with it are: Republicans, 61%; Independents, 63%; Democrats, 66%. Again, there is agreement across age groups, ranging from 60% to 69%.
While a majority of voters (and Al Gore, with his own solution) has long favored getting rid of the Electoral College, Gallup’s Lydia Saad wrote:
“Gallup trends show that Republicans were far less supportive than Democrats of abolishing the Electoral College in late 2000, when Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush had lost the popular vote, but was fighting a legal battle to win Florida and therefore the Electoral College. Since then, however, Republicans have gradually become less protective of the Electoral College, to the point that by 2011, a solid majority of Republicans were in favor of abolishing it.”
Assuming that hell isn’t actually freezing over, shouldn’t someone take the initiative to write-up a couple of amendments? Oh, yeah. That would require action by Congress–or the never before used summons by the states for a Constitutional Convention. Too bad, voters. You lose. Congress wins.