Poll: Voters want to throw 'em out
December 9th, 2011
11:54 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Voters want to throw 'em out

(CNN) – Anti-incumbent attitudes are more inflamed now than they have been in 19 years.

According to a Gallup poll released Friday, more than three quarters of registered voters say most members of Congress deserve to lose their jobs–the highest number since 1993, the year before the political climate resulted in a Republican "tsunami."

That wave unseated 40 years of Democratic control of the House of Representatives and installed Newt Gingrich, now a GOP presidential candidate, as speaker of the House.

But today, 76 percent of voters said most members of Congress do not deserve to be re-elected, the highest percentage Gallup measured in 19 years of asking that question. And the 20% who say congressional members should be re-elected is a record low-one point below the previous low recorded in August.

Roughly eight in 10 independents said members don't deserve to keep their jobs–more than Republicans at 75% and Democrats at 68%–but the small margins between the three groups reveals agreement among political parties against incumbent congressmen.

And though most say members don't deserve to be re-elected, more than half don't want their own member to be voted out of Congress. Fifty-three percent say their own representative deserves to be re-elected and almost four in 10 say their congressman does not.

The midterm elections of 2010 resulted in a 63-seat turnover from Democratic to Republican and handed control of the House to the GOP. At that time, voters were less negative than they are now.

As Democrats battle to regain control of the House of Representatives and keep control of the Senate, anti-incumbent attitudes could work for or against them.

The Gallup poll was conducted by telephone among 908 registered voters from Nov. 28-Dec. 1. It has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Also see:

Gingrich reaches out to conservative leaders

Bachmann will not take part in Trump debate

Paul: 'I have to expose' Gingrich


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Polls
soundoff (419 Responses)
  1. HHR

    I smell a revolution brewing.

    December 9, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. DN

    Remove logic and intelligence in an American and you get a Republican. Socialism? By your definition, you shouldn't have to pay for any government services that you don't personally use. Otherwise your wealthy is being redistributed.

    So, firefighters beware, by conservaitves' logic, you should only be paid after services are personally rendered. No more public libraries, but the swipe of a credit card to gain access. And, unless you have a child in public school, Republicans believe you shouldn't have to pay to keep the schools running with your tax dollars.

    Yes, conservatives, if you actually stop and think about it, those are examples of socialism by your definition. It's a redistribution of your money to someone else's benefit. Your American Way.

    December 9, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. John

    This has to be the worse Congress America ever had or will have. The Republican Leadership Is the worse that It ever been, John Boehner and Eric Cantor can even get there own party to agree on anything and that pretty bad. They are all worry about spending. But I don't see any of them not picking up there pay Check for not doing NOTHING. And beside they need to be term limit on them ,they are all so why over pay. Every time you turn around they are on Vacation. And the Tea Party have pick the most Irresponsible and dumb people they could find.

    December 9, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. madashell

    tea party just a rebranded name for some Republicans but there stll Republicans and they are still part of the 1%. still trying to take our civil liberties
    away just like a bunch of democrats are trying to do. oh one more thing, alot of
    democrats are 1%ters too!!!!!!

    we need to vote a third party in and one more thing please! please! read Gasoline: The new big U.S. export
    so why have we ben paying $3 to $5 gas???????? our congress , president and the lobbist!!!!

    December 9, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. Plantiful

    Ask your representative to co-sponsor the constitutional amendment to ban corporate personhood and overturn Citizens United. This will let us take our congress back to We the People. Corporations own congress, and it is broken.

    The text and list of co-sponsors can be found at the Library of Congress.
    Currently there are 10 out of 435 (2.3%) that are supporting this bill. Please call them to co-sponsor, support, and vote for this bill. If they do, then they represent your interests. If they don't, then they represent their corporate interests and vote them out in 2012.

    We can either take our congress back or get a new one using this very simple test, and yes, your representative may be a problem. Pass this to everyone you know, since the news corporations are not interested in spreading word of this amendment.

    December 9, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Plantiful

    Ask your representative to co-sponsor the constitutional amendment to ban corporate personhood and overturn Citizens United. This will let us take our congress back to We the People. Corporations own congress, and it is broken.

    The text and list of co-sponsors can be found at the Library of Congress, thomas[dot]loc[dot]gov.
    Currently there are 10 out of 435 (2.3%) that are supporting this bill. Please call them to co-sponsor, support, and vote for this bill. If they do, then they represent your interests. If they don't, then they represent their corporate interests and vote them out in 2012.

    We can either take our congress back or get a new one using this very simple test, and yes, your representative may be a problem. Pass this to everyone you know, since the news corporations are not interested in spreading word of this amendment.

    December 9, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. PaulC

    I'm available. Appoint me dictator and I will clean up this mess in record time.

    December 9, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Sasha

    So Republicans take over the House and secure a large enough minority in the Senate to sustain a filibuster indefinitely, and Congress's approval sinks to historic lows.

    One might actually be inclined to conclude that perhaps it's only one side that's creating all the government dysfunction.

    December 9, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Ian

    excitingman-I wish Obama could dissolve congress and rule alone

    -----------------------------

    Dumbest thing I have heard all day. If you want a dictatorship, go live in North Korea or Syria

    December 9, 2011 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Do-Nothing Republicans Purposely Hold America BackIn the Vain Hope of Political Advantage, and Will Pay Dearly For their Treason

    There's no need to boot all incumbents... Just look at the facts since the last Congressional election 2 years ago. There's no way to deny that the vast majority of incompetence, petulance, and playground nonsense is being perpetrated by the Republican'ts. Boot THEM out, put the Democrats on warning, and if they can't (at long last), show some backbone, start boycotting BOTH parties in 2014 in favor of reasonable and motivated independent candidates.

    December 9, 2011 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Cassandra Chu

    ... throw them all out. it's disgusting what they have become. it's time for some fresh meat.

    December 9, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. SusieKJ

    I am not the author of the petition, but I noticed someone put one out on the White House petition site last week. Only has 24 signatures so far. Pass it on if you want to let the Congress know how you feel about this!

    https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/amend-constitution-limit-congressional-terms-3-two-year-terms-house-and-2-four-year-terms-senate/n4Y8FxCw?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    December 9, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Cassandra Chu

    all they know how to do is spend, spend, spend... and make themselves rich in the process. sick.

    December 9, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. WDinDallas

    Obama has never finished anything in his life. He is inept, and not very smart. If it was not for affirmative action he would not have gotten into Columbia or Harvard. He got into Occidental on a foreign student visa. A mediocre student at best, he has proven that he cannot lead, is not very intelligent, and will not do his job (voted present more often in as an Illinois Senator than yea or nay).

    December 9, 2011 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. bobcat2u

    There is no question that all members of congress and senate need to be ousted. The career politician is what got our country where it is, because they've had to much time to be seduced by all the special interst groups, foreign and domestic.
    The american voters should be empowered with the ability to impose term limits just like what the president faces, to ensure this won't happen again.
    Maybe, just maybe, if we get all new faces in there, we can get our country back on track.

    December 9, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. mike58

    After they are run out of office they needs to be stripped of all their benefits

    December 9, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Person Reading Story

    In other words nothing is going to change.

    "And though most say members don't deserve to be re-elected, more than half don't want their own member to be voted out of Congress."

    You can't vote on other people's Congress members, so if everyone sticks with their own, nothing changes.

    December 9, 2011 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. georgex

    No, better be selective. The Congress is now dysfunctional because of the party of no having too many in House and Senate. The Senate can not even confirm the appointment of a head of the Consumers Protection Agency which was established through the Congress. Just being against everything is not a way to move the country forward.

    December 9, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Steve Lyons

    This is why we should force ourselves to select new candidates every two term no matter how "good or corrupt" our current politician may be. They must be forced to change office or retire after two terms and NOT receive any kind of taxpayer subsidy after leaving office.

    December 9, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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