Poll: Voters want to throw 'em out
December 9th, 2011
11:54 AM ET
2 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. willie floyd

    I'm in that 75%!! This do nothing congress has done nothing but fight our president tooth and nails on everything. I'm tired of my tax dollars paying their salaries.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    December 9, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. No Bush

    Throw them all out, including BHO!

    December 9, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Nice try CNN! This was also said before the 2010 elections and it was the Democrats that were swept away. The remaining Democrats didn't get the memo from the American people so they can expect even more house cleaning. The American people will not stand idly by (like our bystander-in-chief) while the Democrats bankrupt this country with their socialist policies.

    Come Nov. 2012, the Democrats and dinosaurs will have a lot in common!

    December 9, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. ja

    most people are fired for poor preformance, congress is playing with lives of americans across the board for the sake of politics, we need to base their pay on postive results, that benefit the general population, not re-election and their bank accounts, (insider trading)

    December 9, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Throw the bums out!

    December 9, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Peter

    Term limits are coming to a Congress near you!

    December 9, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. LegendRx

    Each district should be responsible for holding the line of this epic uprising and kick the bums that represent your district out. Period. They are part of the problem. Get a back bone or continue to stand on the side line and get it up the you know where.

    December 9, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    What's really amazing about polls such as this is that the fools in Congress don't think it applies to them personally and as such spend a great deal of their time mocking those pollled.

    December 9, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Jack from Illinois

    Fortunately for me, my Representative is a first-term Tea Party Republican. It will be easy to vote him out.

    December 9, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Riley

    Obama will be the first to go!!!

    December 9, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Mikey

    @Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS
    Wanna bet? Tell me why the GOP in Congress has lower polling numbers than Congress in general (or the Dems in Congress)? Why is their approval rating only one-quarter that of the President? Why does the Occupy Movement have approval numbers twice that of the Tea Party? Perhaps because people who think like you are in the minority?

    December 9, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Jeff

    Peter I agree with you as well, Term limits are coming, and less benefits. Also Earn your Vacations, Sick Days, Etc! Enough is Enough!

    December 9, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. BrendaT

    Throw out the party lines-may the best ideas win!!!

    December 9, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Peace

    This congress has no shame. They see where they stand in polls and still they do not care at all. We are all tired of do nothing. They cash in their payment without doing anything. Yet some are complaining to those who are in food stamps. Jesus, for their information there is no difference between the two groups. It is all about receiving!

    December 9, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Houston

    I think they should take all the OWS protesters to Jail, not pass go, but straight to Jail, indefinitely ! If the truth be known, 99% of those bums didn't VOTE in the 2010 Elections, that's why congress & Obama can't get anything done. IF they VOTE them OUT, ( whomever they vote out) then they wouldn't be out there protesting.

    December 9, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    Count me in that number,

    December 9, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Alabama GOP reconsiders immigration law” by Phillip Rawis Associated Press
    Read this article
    Republicans doesn’t think , 2010 they ran against Obama they won the election after that total disaster

    December 9, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. Jeff from Ma

    Now aside from Firing, and kicking them all out, I also think they owe the American people an Apology, and should Give back what they didn't work for. Give us our Money back as this is not what we paid for. Work together you children or get out! Recess will be 100% permanent you can bet on that Congress!!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    The mind-boggling thiing about this is that at least 90% of them will still be re-elected. Even in the 2010 "shellacking" 85% of house incumbents won. I'll never understand it.

    December 9, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Emperor Norton

    If you think Democrats are socialist, you don't seem to know what socialism is.

    December 9, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. shoegazer

    As the deck chairs get re-arranged,the string quartet continues to play,"nearer my God to thee."

    December 9, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Come Nov. 2012, the Democrats and dinosaurs will have a lot in common!"

    What? That neither existed at the same time as Jesus...despite the science-denial rantings rampant among the GOP base? Before Nov 2010, polls showed tha anti-incumbent fever was going to hurt Dems and help GOPers, primarily because Dems had the majority in the House. Polls are showing very much the same thing right now with the majority in the House being reversed. The GOP just hopes it can win the WH this way and is willing to take a hit in Congress to get that.

    December 9, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Tom Louderback

    Sorry guy and gals but I want some human morality broudht back to our country. Washington is full of the biggest whores we have ever known. They do not respect America nor its' citizens. I don't believe in religion, as such, but for our sakee lets get our morality under control!

    December 9, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. PR

    The biggest problem is the "not my congressman though". People want everyone else's congressman thrown out but not theirs, so we end up with 87% of incumbents getting elected. Also I just have to comment on this line:
    "anti-incumbent attitudes could work for or against them. " For or against them, boy what insite that is.

    December 9, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Most polls do show that people feel that all or most of Congress needs to be replaced. But, many of those same polls also show that most people want to *keep* their representative, just change everyone else.

    December 9, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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