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POLITICS: PennAve

Poll: Congressional lawmakers dip to new lows, voters want to replace them

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More people now want to replace their member of Congress than at any point during at least the past two decades, according to a poll released Wednesday by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

When asked whether their representative deserved to be re-elected, only 29 percent of respondents responded in the affirmative — while a full 63 percent said they'd rather give a new person a chance. That's up dramatically even from July, when 57 percent of people wanted to replace their member of Congress with someone else.

The poll numbers reflect a deepening dissatisfaction with Congress among the American electorate, which some political watchers predict might affect the 2014 midterm elections.

Approval ratings for congressional lawmakers have taken a hit in particular following the acrimonious budget impasse that resulted in a government shutdown and threatened default on the nation's debt.

In another question, respondents were asked whether their member of Congress is contributing to the problems in Congress or working to solve them. Forty-three percent chose the former, compared to 40 percent who selected the latter response — a flip in past trends that afforded the benefit of the doubt to lawmakers.

In spite of these strongly negative numbers, it is not certain that lawmakers will be punished by voters. Only 40 to 60 House seats will be considered competitive, at most, during the coming midterm election cycle.

This story was first published at 9:15 p.m.

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