Why do voters hate Congress but love their congressman?

April 28, 2016 by Ellen Janoski

Have you ever wondered why American voters hate Congress but keep re-electing their own congressman over and over?

The U.S. House and Senate have painfully low approval ratings. Americans dislike Congress the institution – and the general idea of “politicians.” A majority of voters routinely tell pollsters they don’t believe most members of the House and Senate deserve to be re-elected.

According to Gallup polls, the historic average of Americans supporting re-election for members of Congress is below 35%. And yet, over 90% of members of Congress (House and Senate) who seek re-election win their races.

There seems to be quite a contradiction occurring. Very few voters think congress is performing well but then turn around and re-elect them.

So why are incumbents so safe? Besides the typical rationale: name recognition, well-funded campaign coffers and the gerrymandering of congressional districts, one additional reason needs the attention of concerned voters: neighbor syndrome.

In short, neighbor syndrome is when voters think congress is to blame for our troubles but are unwilling to carefully examine their own representative. The sentiment, “I know my congressman, they’re trustworthy, they’re fine”, can be attributed not only to the unwillingness to hold them accountable, but also the lack of information voters have on their own representative.

Most individuals, who actually vote, consider themselves informed. But the type of information they’re receiving comes from the candidate via email updates, campaign newsletters, and other biased information.

Voters are too reluctant to be critical of incumbent elected officials.  An incumbent who has paid the price fighting for conservative and Christian principles should be retained.  An incumbent who puts on political theater, has done nothing, or is outright wrong – should be immediately replaced.

As a voter, you hold the keys to the direction congress goes. The argument “congress is corrupt” only goes so far in a true Republic. So long as we have a vote, we are responsible for the state of congress.

Voter, it is time to become more vigilant than ever. This is what drives and motivates iVoterguide: to equip the Christian voter. The call to action is to hold your incumbent accountable. Go to, and see the unbiased facts on their money, their stance on important issues, like religious liberty, and a sundry of other facts that will assuredly be eye-opening.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Never stop examining.  Never stop inquiring.  Never stop expecting.  We owe our elected officials nothing but scrutiny.

Ellen Janoski

Ellen came to iVoterGuide with a background in strategic communications, marketing and political campaigns including her own run for the Kansas State House of Representatives in 2010. She oversaw the Political Management Team for a leading public relations firm in Pennsylvania. Ellen worked for The Leadership Institute where she traveled across America teaching a wide-array of political workshops including grassroots, campaign management, public speaking, and digital media marketing.Ellen has been a consultant and an activist for various political campaigns ranging from small town judicial races all the way to holding campaign positions in presidential campaigns.Recently Ellen was appointed by the Governor of Kansas to sit on the Citizens' Utility Board.
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