Bloomberg by the Numbers: 13%

Photograph by Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

The U.S. Capitol in Washington.

That’s the approval rating for the U.S. Congress less than two months before the Nov. 6 election, according to a Gallup survey conducted Sept. 6-9.

It’s the lowest rating that Gallup has measured this late in an election year, and barely above the record-low 10 percent approval rating measured in February and August, the polling organization said Sept. 14.

Turnover in congressional seats tends to be higher in years of low approval ratings, and a redrawing of congressional lines before the election is forcing House incumbents to seek new terms in unfamiliar terrain.

Yet the public’s anti-Congress sentiment may not translate into substantial incumbent losses in the Nov. 6 election, following so-called ‘`wave” elections in pro-Democratic 2006 and 2008 and in pro-Republican 2010. While the 13 House members unseated in primary elections this year is the most since 1992, eight of them lost to other members after redistricting.

Control of Congress is divided between the two parties. Republicans have a 240-190 advantage in the House, which has five vacancies. Democrats have a 53-47 edge in the Senate and are defending 23 of the 33 seats on general election ballots in November.


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