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. ArizonaYankee

    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
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    It's morons like you that are destroying the country. Obama/Biden are the biggest failure in American History. Only a Communist would like them, which says a lot about you.

    ANY REPUBLICAN IN 2012......

    December 9, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. thx1111

    Republican or Democrat, I'm voting my guy (Rep. Issa) way out of dodge. We need a clean house, people. Even if you "like" your congressman/woman, vote them out anyway so we can start fresh....

    December 9, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Y Walk

    Throwing them out would be a good start, next arrest and jail all the thieves on wall street and the CEO's who are robbing the shareholders of their equity by giving out "golden parachute" deals and voting for unrealistic salaries. Next
    cancel all contracts of players in sports who make more than 10 million a year, tax all of it over that amount. Bring this country back to where payment is based on performance. How many are left that can afford to go to a major sporting event ? who dares to invest in the stock market with all the thieves stealing us blind ? Our leaders in companies stealing their so called salaries while the rest go unemployed or are laid off and jobs exported to third world countries. All jobs should be accountable, including politicians, judges and the ordinary citizen – then we may be able to turn this mess around. Even the X Factor USA last nite, a judge does not want to vote and lets a decision be made by the voters based on the performances a week ago ? so why did they have to compete last nite ? unless the judge makes a decision based on the current performance.

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

    Funny how 76% say they thing the congressmen should go, but 56% say they don't think their own congressman should be re-elected. The irony is that you can only re-elect your own congressman, not the ones you think should go. If the people REALY want to change out congress, they need to get rid of their own congressman. Only then will the House of Representatives get the message. It sounds like the people of all the states need a grass roots effort to initiate a State Amendment process to set term limits, that our congressmen don't want .

    December 9, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Zev Paiss

    These men and women work for US! They are not do their job so I say fire them all. While we are at it I say make them all ineligible for re-election for at least 5 years.

    December 9, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Flex

    Amen.........fire them all....we need newer, cleaner and uncorrupt minds and souls in Congress.

    December 9, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. skytag

    What people really mean is that everyone else's representatives need to be voted out. Look folks, who elected these people? You did. What do they want more than getting reelected? Nothing. Who are they trying to please to get reelected? You. The problem is that too many members of Congress work too hard trying to keep the people who elected them happy instead of trying to do what's best for the country.

    If voters were well informed about issues and could discern good policy from bad those two things would pretty much be the same. But voters, people who call and e-mail their representatives thousands of times a day to convey what they want, are not well informed at all and have a minimal grasp of issues. How many people do you know that spend time studying health care issues, taxation and its history, foreign policy issues, and so on? I mean really educate themselves about issues using authoritative, non-partisan sources instead of getting their understanding from political commentators and journalists with no expertise in any policy area?

    December 9, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Jewels

    I would like to ask – when the GOP said they'd be focusing on Jobs. What have we heard in terms of solutions or suggestion? Honestly, it's a disgrace - and Boehner is at the helm, and failed. I will be voting for Pres. Obama - and democrat officials - and I'm independent.

    December 9, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. Ed-NH

    Geez, no DR Ron Paul is the next coming of Christ comments in this forum?? Wow, all 7 of his supporters must be out buying more tin foil.

    Obama 2012

    December 9, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. ethandy

    I believe this story can also be found in this week's issue of "DUH Magazine."

    December 9, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Jman

    The sad commentary is that we all want them to go, but we re-elect the same idiots from our own districts, and states thinking they will protect our personal interests. In the end, our own greed feeds their greed, which benefits no one but greed itself. We get what we vote for.

    December 9, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    I'll believe it when I see it

    December 9, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. skytag

    "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." — Thomas Jefferson

    "The truth is, as much as we want to focus on politics, the American people would rather watch television. As much as we want to talk about substance they'd rather listen to music." — Republican political consultant Frank Luntz

    December 9, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Jim

    The number of moderate members of Congress has gone to ZERO. No wonder very little is getting done. I'd like to see more moderates elected. As it is, everything is a stalemate – very frustrating.

    December 9, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Beck

    Buy a clue, people. Seriously.

    It doesn't matter WHO you vote for, because all you're going to get is the same two steaming piles in different wrappers. Until we DISSOLVE the Democrat and Republican PARTIES completely, nothing will EVER change, because both sides will only vote along party lines.

    December 9, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. And?

    98% of them will be re-elected. Just lik always happens.

    We have exactly the government that we deserve.

    December 9, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. Back to Basics

    We need to vote Obama out of office, plain and simple. I haven't seen this kind of anger and economic malaise since the Jimmy Carter depression, which was far worse than the so-called "Great Recession".

    And if Obama was the hope and change America needed, why do we need an "occupy" movement?

    You can keep the change. For some people, it's all they've got left in their pockets.

    December 9, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. Dan

    I hear a lot about term limits.Good idea but remember that even if they serve only one term they get a pension for life. Did anyone see the attachment Hanoi Jane was in and speaking about how she is scared of the GOP ? Any time Hanoi Jane speaks she scares the hell out of me.Why should she even be allowed in this country after all she became a traitor during Viet Nam.

    December 9, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Chris V

    Republicans = Dinosours
    Dems aren't any better. THROW THEM ALL OUT and start over. Although I believe we should wait until the current crop of super stubborn baby boomers leave politics.

    December 9, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. Tony

    Do we need a federal government? I say NO. Shut it down, and people can live as citizens of their state. The lobbying, pork barrel, acrimony would disappear.

    December 9, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. excelonman

    Simple. Two words: TERM LIMITS!

    December 9, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. steven

    We want people that puts nation and citizen's welfare as the priority, not their wealth, kickbacks, special projects or the party. We want term limits. We want the control of the government back and away from corporations.

    December 9, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Liz the First

    Let's not throw out the babies with the bath water!!!!! the obstructionist, do-nothing rethugs are the ones who need to be tossed out, along with the DINOs. when someone puts regaining power over helping the American people out of the horrible mess that someone helped create, that someone has committed TREASON! the Dems have been fighting tooth and nail to do what's right for the people of this country and have run into a stone wall at every turn. it's time folks woke up and realized who's on their side and who's on the side of the rich and super-rich! and if you think voting rethug is going to help you get rich, there's a nice bridge i'd like to sell you! ;-)

    December 9, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. J. D. Hunter

    Replace all republicans with democrats and we'll be saved.

    December 9, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. BlueWave

    The problem is everyone hates other people's representatives and not their own. Nutjobs get elected to congress because they have nutjobs in their districts that put them there.

    December 9, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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