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. Swen in Minnesota

    Throw them all out, especially that idiot Bachmann. They are only in this thing for their own benefit. Term limits are needed for Congress in order to save this country from ruin.

    December 9, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Drowlord

    I know a lot of people who think like this. The system is broken [from decades of neglect and poor decision-making] so let's fire the people who are manning legislative positions today. For right or wrong, lawmakers on both sides are standing by the ideals that got them elected. If Tea Partiers voted for taxes and social programs, it would be dishonest. If Democrats voted to cut spending, it would be dishonest. As usual, it's the voters' fault, and they're looking for other people to blame.

    December 9, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Mark

    Yes please vote them all out. Top down. House, Senate, President.

    December 9, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Reddog9500

    To paraphrase the politically aware comic strip character Pogo: "We have met the enemy, and he is"..... the United States Congress!

    December 9, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. C

    What gets to me is that even when these jokers are thrown out, they still get paid...forever.... :(

    December 9, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. TheThinker

    An intellectual exercise: Vote out every last elected official in the country and send them to any country that will take them, and fill all elected positions by random lottery. Thus most officials would have no political skills and be forced to rely on integrity and common sense. Then watch how much progress our government and economy would make.

    I should change my screen name to TheDreamer. :D

    December 9, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. duh

    the corporate execs/wall street thugs will just buy the next corruptician to represent them and not the general public citizen.

    December 9, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Jim

    Why waste time with voting them out, just let in a few terrorists and let them blow them up... then we can rebuild the correct way and not with greed, how come we the people know how it should be, but the congress only acts in self interest... the day is coming and we will revolt and the military is going to have to kill a lot of american's to keep us from taking our country back...

    December 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Sean M

    American Public can fix this. Its called picking up the phone sending emails and letters tellin their reps what they think. You can no longer sit at home yelling at the morning paper or eveneing news broadcast. If this is to be fixed you need to learn about the people seeking you're vote. Stop blindly going in and pulling a lever. Let be honest they wount get any better in washington unless we all wake up and get interested in just who the hell is running our country. There are good ones and bad ones. You'll never know until you get up and find out just who they are.

    December 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Gregory Faith

    I'm a small business owner and I can do a much better job governing America than 90% of those idiots there now. Elect me as your next President. Clean house every two years and put Americans back in Washiington not politicians who only act for themselves. And they make millions on insider trading which I can go to jail for doing if cought.

    December 9, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Citizen

    Why is it that I have to pay the alternative minimum tax, but businesses that make billions do not? Congress is in the pockets of big business and even if the American People finally stand up to these idiots and vote them out the next group will do no better.

    December 9, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Walt

    Well said BrendaT! I don't care from which side of the aisle the good ideas come.

    December 9, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Jimmer

    I find it amusing that most , if not all the complainers are guilty of voting the same people back in offfice year after year.......

    December 9, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. Hark

    Classic...Everyone wants Congress to be cleansed but none want their representatives ousted. I'm from Washington State and you can nix every congressman and senator that has held his/her office for two or more terms.....PLEASE! Wake up and walk the walk.....talk is cheap.

    December 9, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Mark L.

    We can vote 'em all out; however, once again, be warned – if there is any division in government, it'll be another wasted two-to-four years. It needs to be either a preferred Democratic-controlled House & Senate Majority + a Democratic White House, that will work for the low and middle-income Americans or a not-so-preferred Republican controlled Congress & White House that will bring this country to it's knees again like we had during the start of the Great Depression back in 1929.

    Just like Al Gore stated several years ago – If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democrat. If, however, you want to wipe out the Middle-Class and live in a "Rich Man, Poor Man" society, with no in-between, vote Republican. It's your choice America.

    December 9, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. dee

    People I know are disgusted, they see prices soaring and are finding it harder to make ends meet. We all see jobs still being outsourced and new jobs difficult to come by. I think both parties have sold us out to the highest bidder, and only the wealthy in our country have any security. In to our economic woes, politicians continue using divisive rhetoric which stirs hate, such as Rick Perry's latest ad.

    December 9, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Ian

    It's funny that everyone blames the other party for all the problems. The truth is that they are both responsible for the mess that our country is in now. Neither one wants to concede that a congressman on either side has a good idea nor are they willing to make reasonable compromises when there are differences of opinion. Toss them all out and vote in those that do not belong to the Democratic Party or the GOP/TParty. Wipe the slate clean and start anew from the top on down!

    December 9, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    The entire Congress should be FIRED!! There needs to be a two term max on Congressional positions. That way there not sleeping in that same bed as big banks, Wall Street, big oil, and lobbyists. There should not be a career politican.

    December 9, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Independent Voters

    Since I am a middle class and the republican want my tax to go up in 2012 so I will vote them out of the office

    December 9, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Rod Planter

    American: thats not true at all - especially since democrats have really held majorities since 2006 in congress. We had 3 years of Obama so far. Do you like our congress and what they are up to? The republicans in the House cant really hold anything up (Obamacare proved that!) but the senate sure can its led by Harry Reid!

    December 9, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Brett MN

    Read the book "Throw them all out", the Congressional Representatives and Senators named in the book, including the President himself should be at the top of the list to get booted out of office. We have a serious problem when the median income in D.C. is the highest in the country, higher than the Sillicon Valley and 70% higher than the average median income in the U.S. The "1%" is sitting in the White House and Congress, regardless of political party. They are far more concerned with their own personal gain than the average American's prosperity. Term limits and cut their benefits.

    December 9, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Jim

    Please give me some moderates on both sides of the aisle that are willing and able to do their job! These extremes are killing us!

    December 9, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. The King

    Throw the baggers out! They're the problem.

    December 9, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Independent Voters

    Congressman John Lewis stay he a great leader.

    Boehner, McConnell, Cantor got to go they need to be in jail

    December 9, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Robert

    You will never throw them out and you know it! You don't have the guts... demand all members of congress resign. Period

    December 9, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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