Okay, you're saying, so what? People always say that they want to throw the bums out, except for their own bum (i.e. their own representative). Pew's new poll also shows 38 percent saying they would like their own congressman or congresswoman defeated next year, the highest that particular question has polled in two decades.
But for reasons that mostly (but not exclusively) involve gerrymandering, there is no way that 74 percent of incumbents in the House of Representatives will be thrown out of office a year from now.
Disagree? Let's look at the congressional delegation representing the Tampa Bay Area as a representative sample:
CD 14 - Kathy Castor is the prohibitive favorite in 2014 in this Hillsborough-centric district, and that includes any Republican you'd throw in to the mix. Look, Mark Sharpe definitely had crossover potential, but he soon realized (in part because he couldn't convince campaign contributors) that challenging Castor in 2012 would have been a futile effort. Yes, this district is definitely gerrymandered in the Dem's favor, but it was drawn up by Tallahassee Republicans, don't forget. Regardless, most big cities in America are represented by Democrats across the country, because traditionally Democratic voters congregate in the big cities.
That's why whomever wins next year's Democratic primary in CD 13 race will be a strong candidate to win in this Pinellas County Congressional seat, despite the fact that a Republican (named Bill Young) has owned it for the past four decades plus. Yes, folks this is indeed one of those very rare "swing" districts that will be extremely competitive in 2014, now that the legendary Young has decided to hang up his wingtips.
CD 13 is a district that has gone for Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012, which is why serious Democrats have challenged Young over the years, even though it was always a quixotic attempt at best, due to how much largesse Young brought home to the district, as well as general goodwill, going back to when Jim Morrison was still alive. But even if a family member of Young's wins the GOP nomination, that shouldn't guarantee much in this increasingly Democratic district.
CD 15 - This could, repeat, could be a competitive congressional district next year, thanks to the fact that the seat became more Hillsborough than Polk County centered after the most recent redistricting efforts. Republican Dennis Ross has only been in the seat for three years, and he appears to have a somewhat serious challenger in Democrat Alan Cohn. Whether Cohn can raise the funds necessary to defeat Ross remains unclear at this early juncture, but he ain't no shrinking violet. Unlike so many other Democrats in Florida, Cohn has been going hard at Ross since he declared his candidacy in late summer. This could be interesting, though the GOP will do whatever it takes to keep it red, since it always has been.
CD 12- Gus Bilirakis has owned this seat since 2006, when he inherited it from poppa Mike, who stepped down after 24 years representing the greater Pasco/Northern Pinellas/Northern Hillsborough regions. Anyone willing to bet it will change hands in 2014? Didn't think so.
CD 16 - This Sarasota seat has been held by the ethically challenged Vern Buchanan since he barely squeaked by Democrat Christine Jennings (she of the 18,000 votes undervotes). Buchanan has been in the news for a lot of wrong reasons over the years, but somewhat surprisingly, has never really sweated out a re-election since his initial victory in '06, where he succeeded Katherine Harris.
Okay, so if you review what I just wrote, it looks like there might be a chance that some of these local seats could turnover. But it that were to happen, they'd all be considered major upsets (and you can't count CD 13 in this scenario, since it's now an open seat).
The fact is, people always say they're fed up with Congress (and they do mean it). But somehow, someway, whether it's simple name recognition or a big money advantage, or the fact that their district is either overwhelmingly Republican or Democrat in party registration, they survive.
In fact, Congress' ratings weren't much better a year ago. And yet, 90 percent of House members and 91 percent of Senators were reelected. That was actually a higher percentage than in 2010, 2008 or 2006.