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Hate for Congress Makes for Tough 2012 Re-Elections

Corrected to clarify Minnesota District 6 and District 8 congressional races

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Congress' approval rating dropped to its lowest level ever this week, which serves to remind legislators up for 2012 re-election that incumbency isn't a sure path to victory.

The CBS News/ New York Times poll that found only 9% of Americans approved of the job Congress has done is not a stark departure from the general attitude U.S. citizens have had towards their representative government.

CBS News reported that Congress' latest approval number was the first single-digit rating in the more than three decades it had conducted its survey with the Times.

This fresh, dismal number is in line with the huge drop that occurred in September (12%) -- a month after the polarizing debt-ceiling debacle -- from June (20%).

With numbers like those it should come as no surprise that Samuel Wurzelbacher -- made famous as "Joe the Plumber" by Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign -- launched a campaign on Tuesday for a House seat in Ohio.

"Our current system is all about control. It needs to be fixed," Wurzelbacher said . "They keep on putting duct tape on it. I'm not the kind of plumber that uses duct tape."

It's a wonder as to what qualifies Wurzelbacher to become a U.S. congressman, but it seems from these numbers that most citizens wonder what qualifies any person to become a U.S. congressman.

"You've got to keep it simple, and that's what it comes down to running for Congress," Wurzelbacher said.

There are plenty of representatives who could face heavy reelection opposition: Look no further than Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.), who has spent a significant amount of time on a sputtering presidential campaign.

The Minnesota congresswoman was reelected by nine percentage points in 2010 in District 6 against challenger Tarryl Clark, who is expected to return in 2012 for a run at District 8. Bachmann hasn't officially declared her intentions to run for re-election, and no clear-cut Democratic candidate has emerged for an early grab, but more knocks in the presidential nomination could resurface as fodder for her district opponent.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) learned in 2010 that no election is guaranteed in the present political atmosphere -- Nevadans gave him six more years, but at one point during the election season it looked as if he might falter. His example is one of many that should remind Congress: Nobody likes you.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>To contact the writer, click here: Joe Deaux.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/JoeDeaux.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com

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