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. dbgirl

    As one who has previously voted Republican, I can say I am astonished and horrified at what they are now doing. They have disregarded the politics of Ronald Reagan. They are pondering to the corporate America and refusing to go against the likes of Grover Norquist, who has had them sign a pledge not to raise taxes in spite of economists telling us, it is needed for the good of the country. They have shown me that they care little about middle America and more about the wealthiest who contribute to their re-election. If we vote the Democrats in both houses, it cannot be worse than what we have now.

    December 9, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Cyle in Dublin

    Dems / Reps – two sides of the same tainted coin.

    You want real change? Vote for someone else, ANYONE else, write in a name if you have to.

    December 9, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Lampshade221

    Surveys say this every election cycle...then the election rolls around and somehow no one votes in such a manner. Until all the sheeple put someone without a "D" or "R" behind their names in the majority of elected offices – absolutely nothing in Washington will change. Dems and Reps argue endlessly about how horrid the other party is, when in fact, they are exceptionally similar were it matters most – they don't want to spend less and secure our country's financial future, they just want to make sure the money is spent on their own interests.

    December 9, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. mlnaire0305

    There comes a time when our government needs to be taken apart and rebuilt by the people. Hopefully that day will come soon.

    December 9, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. Shaw

    If you have been in office more then 6 year you should go, you have not done anything. All of them have become self serving not public servant. GET them OUT.

    December 9, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. YES WE CAN 2012!

    Obama will be re-elected and yes we can and will vote the republicans OUT in 2012!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. allens

    i agree completely, they must all go. and before the elections for senators and congressman, we should take away their health care and make it a 2 term limit. if they fail to come up with a budget, they loose 1 months pay for every week they are late. this is a position for patriots, not politicians.

    December 9, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    that would be the best thing that ever happen to America. Get another democrat to replace obama – someone who respects this country..

    December 9, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Chuck

    Sometimes, when your PC just gets flakey and your programs lock up and your windows crash, you've just gotta reboot.

    Congress has gotten flakey. Everything's locked up. All the programs are crashing.

    It's time to reboot.

    December 9, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. excitingman

    I wish Obama could dissolve congress and rule alone

    December 9, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. ObamaJoe

    How are you going to kill time this weekend ? :)

    December 9, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. alrcsd

    I agree let's clean house and start over. Let's make an ammendment that congress cannot vote on their own pay raises, they must use (procurr) health care like everybody else. Let's face it people the President doen't have the power, never did; it was always congress.

    December 9, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  13. ObamaJoe

    God bless America.

    December 9, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. SpaceJunkieHSV (Jason)

    Term limits... We must have term limits. Someone needs to do something. I think the term often used is "introduce legislation".

    December 9, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. rob

    I love reading all the Democratic hate on here. If you think for a second that the Republicans aren't just as equally part of the problem then YOU are part of the problem. These do nothing but bicker representatives need a clear message sent to them, that when they behave like this their jobs are NOT safe.

    December 9, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Darren Sisco

    "Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS – Democrats are the problem" Make me laugh. The whole schmorgass board of fools is the problem. You sound like a republican zombie. Riddle me this Joker, Clinton era ended in high prosperity. After Bush Jr Era, major tax breaks have been handed out to the wealthy and look at us now, full on resession, yet cronies like you say don't tax the rich because they gave us jobs. So where are the jobs I ask? The tax breaks have already been given, SURPRISE there aren't any jobs. Democrats want to recall the tax breaks. Its not a new taxation by any means, merely repackaged taxes. Stop 'protecting' your overseers you bumbling fool.

    December 9, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. john

    The super committees failure as an agreement was the breaking point for all of this. All they do is bicker back and forth and bash each others ideas. Americans are tired of it. We want solutions, compromise. Were tired of the political chilidshness. EVERYONE's political job is at stake. I want solutions not bickering

    December 9, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. KB

    I want the whole system changed. No more candidates buying ads on TV. No more "pay to play" politics where only the wealthy get to be politicians – they already are so distanced from the needs of Americans in general, why should we allow for a system that disregards the 99% by default? Politicians should not be allowed to win based on how much they spend. In fact, it should be the opposite.

    December 9, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. SeeThruIt2

    The poll would be more accurate if they asked those polled to NAME their Congressman and Senator, THEN ask whether those named should be voted out.

    I think most people want the other guy's Congressman or Senator out. But, most people will vote the same way they always have rather than admit they were wrong the last time.

    December 9, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    For everyone of them thrown OUT, I hope a qualified, honest voter is ready, willing and able to Step IN and take their place. Throwing them out is only half the problem, finding a qualified replacement who can field the fire is the other.

    December 9, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Bill

    Unfortunately, most voters don't really care how their representative voted. They just look at the D or R next to the name.

    December 9, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Tony

    The sad part about all of this is these politicians know they are doing a terrible job. They know they are no longer wanted. What worse, they don't care.

    December 9, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. AnonAnon

    Screw party lines. This congress is garbage – both the dems and repubs. They can't get ANYTHING done – even if the future of the country is on the line. I don't understand why it is so hard for people to ignore party lines and VOTE INTELLIGENTLY, based on the issues and the people running. Don't just mindlessly vote for your party – THINK!

    December 9, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Kim2C

    As long as top of the list goes to PELOSI ("I'll read Obamacare after we pass it."), I'm in!

    December 9, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. uisignorant

    That is what they say, but history prove different.

    December 9, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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