How Anger Can Affect Voter Turnout
Voter dissatisfaction and anger with the way things are going in Washington will play a major role in next year's election.
Montclair University political science expert Brigid Harrison says for one thing, that voter anger can affect turnout at the polls.
"Lots of times angry voters stay home," she said.
Harrison said when there is that negative context around politics, sometimes it actually drives voters out of the participation in elections.
Harrison say the other major spinoff of voter anger is that the incumbents in Congress pretty much stay right where they are, because voters are dissatisfied members of Congress from other districts. She says that while there is a great deal of anger, particularly directed at Congress, which right now has about a 9 percent approval rating, we tend to see people who are relatively satisfied with their own members of Congress.
So they think that their representative is doing a good job, but everyone else is doing poorly. As a result, Harrison said incumbents strive to satisfy their own constituents.
"They do not work to make the national interest satisfied," she said. "In House elections, we see about 95 percent to 96 percent reelected, because they work to make their constituents happy, whereas, they don't work to make other people's constituents happy."
She also said voter anger is a major factor in the ascendency of inexperienced candidates such as Donald Trump.
"I think that that is some of the support that we are seeing for some of these kind of inexperienced political candidates running for the GOP nomination," she said. "There are some real surprises, and I think that what we are seeing is that they are tapping into that voter anger. They are talking in a very angry way, their rhetoric tends to be very divisive, and they are tapping into an anger that is pretty prominent among the electorate throughout the country."