November 12th, 2009
04:57 AM ET
5 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 • GOP • Poll
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