When we put our national poll in the field last week a government shutdown still looked pretty likely so we asked a question about whether people thought members of Congress should continue to receive their salaries in such an event- 90% said they should not to only 5% who thought they should keep getting paid.
It got us thinking though about the broader issue of Congressional compensation, especially with first term GOPers Sean Duffy and Renee Ellmers getting themselves in some hot water with comments to the effect that it's hard to live on a $174,000 salary.
So how much do Americans think members of Congress should be paid? A lot less than they're getting paid now was our finding:
-Only 8% of voters think members of Congress should make more than $150,000 a year.
-By comparison 25% of voters think members of Congress should make less than $50,000 a year, including 4% who think they should be paid nothing.
-A 41% plurality of voters think they should make in the range of $50,000 to $100,000 a year.
-Overall 66% of voters think they should make under $100,000 a year.
-There is not a huge partisan divide. Only 9% of Democrats, 9% of independents, and 8% of Republicans believe they should make more than $150,000 a year while 68% of independents, 67% of Republicans, and 63% of Democrats think it should be below the $100,000 threshold.
Seeing those numbers, if I'm running against Ellmers or Duffy next year I'm sure as heck going to be running ads on their salary comments. And if I'm a challenger trying to make some waves I might make an issue out of seriously reducing Congressional compensation- it's one thing voters of all stripes agree on.
Full results here