The Current Political Machine For House Incumbents

1480 Words Nov 11th, 2016 6 Pages
It is no secret that Americans are disappointed with the current political machine that is running the country. This dislike was illustrated in a 2013 Gallup Poll. The poll discovered that only sixteen percent of Americans were happy with Congress. When American citizens are asked what solution they think would solve this problem, most respond, “Term limits” (Gallup) In fact, eighty percent of Americans support the concept (Cato). The turnover rate for House incumbents who attempt reelection is usually below ten percent. This is in far from the first century of America 's government, when long-term congressional incumbency was rare and Members often voluntarily chose to leave Washington and return home. In the nineteenth century, the average turnover in each new Congress was over forty-five percent. Therefore, new Members who were free from the institutional biases that long-term incumbency brings . However, today these numbers are the complete opposite. Despite a large 1992 turnover fueled primarily by retirees, there is little to no turnover among those who decide the Congressional calendar: the committee chairmen and other members of the Democratic leadership. In the House of Representatives, for instance, the average job tenure is ten years. However, the principal leaders, the committee chairmen, speaker, majority leader, and whip, have served an average of twenty-seven years. This means that the average member of this group has been in the House since the…
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