There’s an interesting article over on New York Magazine’s Intelligencer website, Congress Thinks Voters Are Way More Conservative Than They Actually Are. Here’s Why, by Eric Levitz. In it, Levitz looks at the puzzling fact that Congress keeps acting as if voters are much more conservative than they are, even when polls and townhalls have prove that the voters are much further left than you’d think.
Why on earth would Congressmen and -women do such a thing? Pundits have offered various explanations, for example suggesting that Republican politicians secure in gerrymandered districts only hear from their most ardent supporters, or from very conservative voters, and therefore don’t hear alternative voices.
But Levitz notes that there’s another possibility. To wit, Congressmen and -women rely on big money donors and corporations to stay in office. As a result, they have to hear those people and corporations rather more clearly than they have to hear voters. So, he says, “…Congress might be less confused about what its constituents truly want than political scientists are about who, in practice, Congress’s constituents truly are.”
And those constituents ain’t us.