Spare Me the Bellyaching About Legislative Pay


MINOT, N.D. — To participate in American politics is to hear many hypocrites whining about the people they elect.

It’s fashionable to dislike politicians. A Gallup poll in November of 2018, contemporaneous to the national mid-term election, showed 74% of Americans disapproving of Congress.

That same year, 91% of the incumbents in the House of Representatives were re-elected. The number was 84.4% in the Senate.

Those outcomes aren’t atypical. The House, whose members are on the ballot every two years, routinely sees a re-election rate that’s above 90%. The senators, who serve six-year terms, have more up-and-down to their re-election rate, but they hover in the mid-80s.

This holds in North Dakota. In the 2020 election, 96% of incumbents on the ballot were re-elected, including 95%t in the Legislature.

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