Column: Capitol Hill incumbents enjoy special advantages in system



It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating.

In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a midterm-election year. That might have been notable except, as The Washington Post pointed out, that “Congress’s approval rating has reached historic lows at least 12 ... times since 2010.”

Here’s the interesting thing: Nearly three-fourths of Americans want to throw out most members of Congress, including their own representative, yet the vast majority of incumbents will return to Capitol Hill in January. In other words, Americans scorn Congress but keep re-electing its members. How could this be?

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