Recently CBS News released the findings of a recent poll that covered many issues such as the sequester, gun policy, the budget deficit, and their overall happiness with the effectiveness of the federal government.
According to the poll, 80 percent of Americans are unhappy with the legislative and executive branches. Half of respondents defined themselves as ‘dissatisfied’ while the other 30 percent said they are ‘angry.’ A full two percent of those polled were “enthusiastic” about “things in Washington.” Tweet it: Tweet
Over the sampling period provided by CBS News, Americans have generally turned slightly more negative towards Washington, with the “satisfied” group falling 10 percent from 26 percent to 16 percent and the ‘angry’ cohort rising from 17 percent to 30 percent.
It’s noteworthy to mention that over said time period, the U.S. has gone through two elections, the 2010 mid-terms when the Republican Party regained control of the House of Representatives and the 2012 presidential election when President Obama won re-election by a decent margin.
While the American people have become increasing dissatisfied with Washington, only the 2010 mid-terms saw a significant change in the composition of Capitol Hill. In most instances, 2012 was a good year for incumbents
So, while people are more disenfranchised with our federal government, they seem to be okay with their own representatives and senators. Two hypothesis: They chose the better of two poor choices when faced with decisions in 2010 and/or 2012, or America truly is becoming more polarized and Washington is simply reflecting that growing divide.
One has to wonder, what can or will be done to change the direction of these numbers? Will 2014 see a dramatic shift in Congress, similar to what we saw in 2010?
Perhaps people will say “enough is enough” and call for Washington’s power and influence to decrease in favor of greater control by the respective states. If 2014 continues to see this level of discontent, the dialogue ahead of the 2016 elections could be different from anything Americans have seen in recent years.
The current tone in Washington seems to be eschewing compromise in favor of partisan talking points. Looking at these poll numbers, that seems to be a failing endeavor. If these numbers continue to trend the way they have, something will need to change in Washington. The question is, will politicians change or will there be a change in politicians?