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sebaygo1: Anti-Incumbency Fever and Alex Jones Math
08-14-2010, 10:03 AM,
Information  sebaygo1: Anti-Incumbency Fever and Alex Jones Math
Anti-Incumbency Fever and Alex Jones Math

Listening to today's Jones show, I heard Alex say something that I've heard him say similarly multiple times in recent weeks. I made a mental note of it and during editing found the exact location [7:42 into the 2nd half of hour 2] of the statement.

Basically what Alex said today and has been saying is that a great wave of anti-incumbent sentiment has been sweeping the nation as this primary election season has progressed, and that -- with only a handful of exceptions -- the incumbent bums have been being tossed out.

That does seem to be the conventional wisdom these days. A Fox News poll from a few months ago found that 68% of those surveyed would vote to oust ALL incumbents. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, out this week finds:

* less than half the country approves of President Obama's job;
* 60 percent say that this year's Congress is either below average or one of the worst in history;
* a whopping 72 percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing;
* the number viewing the Republican Party favorably is at an all-time low;
* the Democratic Party doesn’t fare much better;
* nearly six in 10 respondents still say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

With this depth of negative feelings toward those in office currently, surely the time is right to be throwing the rascals out. To paraphrase an old adage, the definition of insanity is electing the same politicians over and over and expecting a different result. Here is what Alex said today:

Every incumbent except for in a few cases like Rick Perry [is] losing in the Republican and Democratic primaries. I mean this has got the system scared! So, they want to demonize Rand Paul -- who's seen as the personified true patriot libertarian tea party -- as a kidnapper!

Unfortunately, neither the conventional wisdom or the pronouncement of Alex Jones is true.

So far this year, 282 federal-level incumbents have been up for re-election. Of those, only 6 have lost their seats -- 4 in the House and 2 in the Senate. That's 2 percent of all incumbents.

Of course a lucky few did not have opposition in their party's primary. If you count only the 119 incumbents who have faced primary challengers, the proportion who were defeated goes up to 5 percent. Which means that at least 95 percent of incumbents so far were winners.

By simple arithmetic it is hard to see this as an "anti-incumbent" year. History shows that the average rate of re-election for members of the House since 1964 has been 93.3 percent. In the Senate, the average since 1964 has been 81.6 percent. The current trend surely could change for the General Election in November, but at the moment, incumbents are doing better than average.

The actual facts are essentially the opposite of "every incumbent except for ... a few ... losing in the Republican and Democratic primaries." Come on, Alex. You represent yourself as the weilder of The Sword of Truthiness™ but what you are telling us on this often-mentioned issue is some distance from the truth. It is not hard to check the numbers. I did it in about an hour this afternoon, and I don't have a staff.

Oh, and this as a final note: Alex lately has been stating that the approval rating for Obama [Soetoro] is the lowest in modern history for any president at this point in his term. I am not a fan of the current occupant of the White House by any stretch of the imagination, but I do accept facts even when they are different from the world as I wish it to be. Both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton had lower approval numbers at this point in their first terms than what we are seeing currently.
Posted by sebaygo1 at 7:09 PM
Labels: Alex Jones, approval ratings, incumbents, truth

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