Career Politicians are a new thing

Saturday, Aug 29, 2009

When the Constitution was written, the nation’s founders expected that there would be a 50% turnover in the House of Representatives every election cycle. That was the experience they witnessed in state legislatures at the time (and most of the state legislatures offered just one-year terms). For well over 100 years after the Constitution was adopted, the turnover averaged in the 50% range as expected.

In the 20th century, turnover began to decline. As power and prestige flowed to Washington during the New Deal era, fewer and fewer members of Congress wanted to leave. In 1968, congressional turnover fell to single digits for the first time ever, and it has remained very low ever since.

57% Would Like to Replace Entire Congress, Rasmussen Reports, August 30, 2009, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publiccontent/politics/generalpolitics/august2009/57wouldliketoreplaceentire_congress.