November 11th, 2009
05:57 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Anti-incumbent sentiment strong

A new poll suggests that Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting in next year's midterm elections.
A new poll suggests that Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting in next year's midterm elections.

Washington (CNN) - When it comes to Congress, a 'throw the bums out' attitude appears to be alive and well.

According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 52 percent of registered voters would like to see their own member of the House of Representatives re-elected next year, while just over one in three say that most members of Congress should be returned to office. Both numbers come close to the all-time lows seen just prior to the 1994 election, when the Republicans won control of Congress, and the 2006 contest, when the Democrats returned to power in both chambers.

The survey indicates that only 42 percent of independent voters want to see their own representative re-elected in 2010, and just one in four independents think most members of Congress should be returned to office.

The poll suggests that Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats. Fifty-eight percent of people who say they plan to vote for Republican in next year's elections say they are very enthusiastic about voting. That's 16 points higher than the 42 percent of people of plan to vote for a Democrat who describe themselves as enthusiastic.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released last week also indicated that Republicans are more energized right now than Democrats.

"The party that is out of power usually gets to play on offense, while the party in power is essentially playing defense," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Playing offense gets your team pumped up. Maybe the same psychology is at work on the political playing field this year."

Next November, all 435 seats in the House and more than a third of the Senate seats are up for grabs. Democrats currently hold a 258-177 advantage in the House, and a 20-seat margin in the Senate.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted October 28-November 8, with 1,644 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Democrats • Extra • GOP • Poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Please stopr censoring...thx S Callahan

    It's more than the doctrine of politics playing out here...people know this country was built on certain values and they will be dammed if they let that go by the wayside....the sentiment from the average citizen if pretty high...the media really misses to what extent..and certainly the current politicians do too. We were fooled way to long..fooled one, twice but not thrice.

    November 11, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. Jim

    Would love to get rid of my moonbat rep!

    November 11, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  3. Drone Pilot

    We want Ron Paul. We trust him.........All the other Dems and Repubs are the same, no change, they just want big government and wars...

    November 11, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Dale

    In antiquity, the Roman overseers (who were rotated every couple of years) were called "sucking flies" because of their voracious appetite for whatever they may walk away with while serving at their foreign posts... but uniquely enough the locals felt that if they left them at their posts long enough they would become satiated and become rather benign. Let the "sucking flies" alone and swat them with indictments when they are "caught".

    November 11, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Republican

    I'm not excited to vote, but I will anyways, and I won't be voting for any of my republican candidates. There are NO good republicans in this country that are running for office. The whole lot of them stinks. I'll hold my nose and vote for a democrat before I vote for the good for nothing, whining complaining free loaders in todays republican party.

    It's disgusting what the new republicans have turned this party into. It stinks to high heaven with their bull fecis! Need proof? Watch the vitrol comments that will follow from some of the putrid trash that are now calling themselves republicans. DISGUSTING HUMAN TRASH, the WHOLE lot of them!

    November 11, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Pragmatic

    It's always "throw the bums out!" with the footnote – "but Not My Bum!"

    Members of Congress should be changed like diapers: often and for much the same reason! I find the GOP elected representatives who vote like the leadership tells them to ... without their own thoughts or opinions to be the most distasteful.

    November 11, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. No More Incumbents

    This is a surprise? All of our representatives and senators are walking billboards for term limits. The only thing that is important to them is 1) getting reelected and 2) doing what is best for the party. We are no longer a government of the people. It's time for the voter to take back the government. We voted for a change and got more of the same. Get rid of all incumbents, time and time again, until they represent your interests over their own. Forget party. They're both corrupt. It's up to the people to say we won't stand for it anymore. If you vote for these idiots, then you got what you deserve. Our 1 term experiment in chief should retire very rich on the book and speaking fees he will garner while rest of us and our children pick up the tab.

    November 11, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    Regardless of party, We the people need to toss these career politicians out of office once and for all. Only with this kind of Change maybe than they would listen to the people and not to their own self interests and pocketbooks.

    November 11, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. LacrosseDad

    waterloo for the democraps.

    November 11, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Jane/Seattle

    Maybe these polls are finally reflecting some true sentiment! One BIG problem is that many Republicans have their reasons all Wrong and blame the Wrong sources! Many Democrats support Obama do or die! And then there are folks all over the map! Personally, I am sick of this ENTIRE System for it is flawed beyond repair, especially with the total lack of ethics displayed by many elected officials just chasing the Money! Peace

    November 11, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    See, we have term limits, they are called elections.

    If that 52% against incumbents holds until 2010 then half of the House will not be re-elected and will be replaced.

    Term limits, done democratically.

    November 11, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. gerry

    I bet the poll didn't ask if we the people are sick of both parties.

    November 11, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. rachel

    Hope that carries through to 2012.

    November 11, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Observant1

    Obama needs to keep his promises to us, which he hasn't done so far.

    November 11, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Jake

    oh, I see....the Republicans for the past eight years got us into this mess and Obama has been working for less than a year to try to turn everything around, but hey! lets vote the Republicans back in.

    logical.

    November 11, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. New Father

    I guess I should get ready to stop shorting the US dollar, bummer what a great year I had since the stimulus passed. Bet against the US dollar and bet that banks would make a fortune on cheap easy money from the taxpayers. This country is great who cares what party is in charge just remember Wall Street makes money either way and everytime Congress start talking about regulation short that sector and once they don't do anything but get money from the industry get ready to cash out and get long. Thanks Washington you can't create jobs but it is still possible to get rich even if you have to bet against America.

    November 11, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Tim

    Is this really a big suprise to anyone? We actually have some old lady named pelosi making decisions that will affect the lives of every american. Talk about a nightmare! all obama wants to do is blame bush for everything, when in fact, democrats have had control of both the House and the Senate since 06'. 2010 is going to be very ugly for any elected official with a "D" behind their name.

    November 11, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. SOL

    In 2010, its out with the old and in with the new ! The same holds true for 2012. Let's keep firing in incumbents until we have refreshed the Tree of Liberty.

    Bye Bye Harry,
    Bye Bye Barry,
    Bye Bye Nancy
    Bye Bye Barack

    November 11, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Just My Opinion in Texas

    Personally .... I'd like to kick MOST if not ALL of the Congress out and start over. I am sick & tired of the "in-it-for-life" mentality of the Representatives and Senators! Hey .. newsflash to you Congressional knuckleheads ... You were ELECTED ... not APPOINTED! I know you bozos like your cushy jobs ... the perks ... the power ... the side deals and everything that goes with it .. But you need to LEAVE now! Most of you Congress Critters have been in DC so long ... you're starting to stink like 4 day old fish!

    Bring in new faces, different ideas and a fresh perspective to the Hill, why don't you?!?

    America is TIRED of business as usual in DC and come 2010 & 2012 we WILL be taking back our government from the crooks, creeps & assorted jerks that comprise the US House & Senate!

    I want to clean up America ... and I want to start by power-washing the Hill !!!

    November 11, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Love Thy Neighbor

    I don't think that only 1,644 people of the US is going to call the shots. That is but a meer fraction of the people NOT being polled. How many of them were of a politial party? If people are to believe in polls, they need to be broken down into how many individuals are from a particular group. Who's to say 75% of them were not Republicans or Democrats or Independent. Things change everyday. People die and others fill their shoes. Polls are like trying to predict the future. We know that cannot be done. Let things play out. The American people are not going to be told what or how to think anymore. They are doing so for themselves now. Beau Colby

    November 11, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Ed D

    We want change. Just change. As long as we keep changing things we get what we want. The change itself has no meaning.

    November 11, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  22. ICARE

    God help us all!! Please allow the DUMMYCRATS to control congress. Dont EVER EVER give Congress to the Republi KON. They have neglected America for thepast 8 years, they dont deserve to be the majority.

    Trust me, it's better to give Congress to the DummyCRATS. They're so dumb, they cant see 3 steps ahead of them. This means, they cant harm us or trash the economy to the floor like the republi KON, who for 8 years, gave W, a blank check without even BLINKING.

    Trust me, it only takes 3 elephants to scare off all the donkey herds. So, although the ELEPHANTS are the minorities, it will be as good as if they are the majority.

    Come on, have the elephants SWEAT a bit! Let them work hard! If you give them control of Congress, it'll just be too easy for them to CON us.

    November 11, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. Cevin

    To bad we can't get the incumbent lobbyists out.

    November 11, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. joe m

    if any of these people actually held real jobs they'd have been fired for unsatisfactory performance years ago. time to clean house and get new blood in. i say let's start looking for more independents to take seats from all these jokers. maybe they'd be more willing to move forward that play the games these two parties have been engaged in for decades.

    November 11, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. A. Smith

    Republican's enthusiastic?

    You have got to be kidding me? With icon's Palin and Romney, the Republican party and their Big Pharma, Big Oil corporate masters, are a National Laughing stock.

    The puppet strings between Big Oil and Big Pharma with each and every Republican lawmaker is clearly defined and clearly seen.

    The republican party is dieing, and thankfully sinking into the toxic sinkhole of their own demise and creation.

    A. Smith
    Oregon

    November 11, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
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