Author: SoRelle Wyckoff
Graduate Assistant, Center for American Politics and Citizenship
University of Maryland, College Park

In the wake of the November 7, 2017 elections in New Jersey and Virginia, headlines claimed the results were “threatening Republicans in Congress”, and “offering fresh evidence that the ground is shifting beneath the GOP”. While these results alone may not shed light on the national picture, pundits and politicians alike are wondering what to expect for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Incumbents in particular are concerned. Recent research from a September 2017 Washington Post-UMD poll sheds some light on the disapproval Americans feel for the representatives of their own party. When compared with Congressional Democrats, Congressional Republicans are at a disadvantage.

  • When asked if Congress does a good job or bad job representing the concerns of ordinary citizens, Republican respondents were tough on the GOP, while Democratic respondents were more supportive of Democratic representation.
  • Sixty-seven percent of Democratic respondents thought their party did a “good” job representing ordinary citizens. 
  • Only 40% of GOP respondents felt their leaders in Congress were doing a good job representing their needs.

Full analysis available here

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