There is a lot of fun to be had in Washington, living a life that is exciting and powerful.
The $174,000 salary for representatives and senators makes them one of the top wage earners in the nation, as well as generous travel allowances, free use of the U.S. mail, and free parking at Reagan National Airport.
The Honorable Soand-So's benefits, salary, power, and prestigious title are overshadowed by the fact that the job security is notexistent.
To keep their job, they have to work harder, raise more money, and be more popular than they were before.
Being a member of Congress is expensive despite the high salary.
Most members have to maintain two households, one in Washington and one at home, and many find it hard to manage on their congressional salaries.
More and more members are becoming dissatisfied with their job.
The job is no longer fun for some because of the high level of conflict in Congress.
Nonincumbent candidates for Congress need political and financial assets to have a chance of winning.
Experience is one of the key political assets for a potential candidate, such as working for other candidates, serving as a precinct chair, or holding an office in the local party organization.
Experience in elective office is even more helpful.
Unless they happen to be famous sports stars, television personalities, or wealthy "High-quality" candidates, political amateurs without such experience are considered "low-quality" candidates for Congress.
Conservatives don't do well in conservative parts of the South, African Americans have a hard time getting elected in predominantly white districts, and Republicans have a hard time in areas that are mostly Democratic.
The edge in visibility, experience, organization, and fundraising ability possessed by the people who already hold the job is what determines whether an opponent is vulnerable.
They can be hard to defeat.
An open seat is the best bet from a challenger's point of view.
Political campaigns are expensive.
Winning nonincumbents over the past decade have spent four times as much as nonincumbents who did not win, and even then the winning nonincumbents could not keep up with the spending of incumbents.
Some years are good for Democrats while others are bad for Republicans.
Presidential popularity, the state of the economy, and military engagements abroad are some of the factors that lead to these tides.
In recent elections, enthusiasm for a popular presidential candidate can sweep fellow party members to victory.
There is no arguing with the fact that the presidential party loses seats in Congress in the off-year elections.
The presidential party lost seats in the House of Representatives in every election of the twentieth century except in 1934.
In the last few years, only 1998 and 2002 broke the pattern.
The Democrats lost the majority in the House in 2010 due to a sputtering economic recovery, high unemployment, and low approval ratings for President Obama.
The GOP gain of 63 House seats was the largest for that party in six decades and easily wiped out the Democrats' gains in the previous two election cycles.
The Democrats were vulnerable because they had won a lot of Republican districts.
The Democrats retained majority control of the Senate despite losing six seats.
The Democrats lost seats in the House and Senate in the same year, giving the coveted leadership spot to McConnell from Kentucky.
The tables were turned.
The economy was doing well, but the president was unpopular.
The Republicans were vulnerable to Democratic takeovers in the House because they didn't have a lot of exposure in the Senate.
Democrats were excited and motivated despite Trump's best efforts to get his supporters to vote for him.
An enormous gender gap sent women suburban voters to the Democratic side while men tended to vote Republican as people of color and young people not always reliable midterm voters turned out.
In the end, the Republicans held the Senate and may have picked up a few seats pending the results of recounts, but the Democrats took almost 40 House seats, their biggest gain since Watergate.
The House of Representatives was intended to reflect the opinions and interests of the American people.
The Senate was to be made up of older men of virtue, education, and property, who they believed would have the wisdom to balance the impulses of the House.
It didn't say that both houses would be filled with Christian representatives.
Today we assume that representation requires that Congress reflect the demographic of the American people, that is, what we call descriptive representation.
John Adams said a representative assembly should be a miniature portrait of the people at large.
It should act like them.
Congress fails at this quite miserably.
In the days after the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the Congress was dominated by well-educated, well-to-do white males.
The poor, the less educated, women, and minorities are not represented proportionately to their numbers in the population, although there are several trends in the direction of a more demographically representative Congress.
Most Americans work in jobs that include skilled and semi skilled workers, service economy workers, sales representatives, managers, and clerical workers.
Congress is dominated by lawyers and business people.
The Republicans are more likely to have come from business and banking careers, while the Democrats are more likely to have come from public service careers.