Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing may be debatable. But we suspect in Johnson's case it is not a deliberate dumbing down so people can understand him. It fits perfectly with his simple view of the world. Here's more:
The Sunlight Foundation's analysis of floor comments rates Duffy's speech at an 8th grade level and Johnson's at 8.6. Their ratings were the 4th and 10th lowest respectively. The average member of Congress speaks at a 10.6 grade level, down from 11.5 seven years ago.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, at 9.6 and Reid Ribble, R-Sherwood, at 10.1 speak at grade levels below the congressional average. Reps. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, and James Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, were among the 20 federal lawmakers who speak at the highest grade levels. Petri speaks at a 14.1 level; Sensenbrenner at 13.6. [Other scores: Tammy Baldwin 11.75, Gwen Moore 12.57, Ron Kind 12.75, Herb Kohl 12.89.]
By comparison, the U.S. Constitution was written at a 17.8 grade level and the Declaration of Independence at a 15.1 grade level. President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was rated at an 11.2 grade level, while the Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech was at a 9.4 grade level.
In Johnson's case, it is more likely his speech writers trying to use words that Johnson can understand. It's heartening that he is up to grade 8.6. With Patrick McIlheran's help, he may make it to high school level yet.