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. Tony

    Perhaps using the terms "Freshmen Senator" etc is appropriate since they all act like a bunch of irresponsible high school students anyway.

    December 9, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. augustghost

    Can we outsource congress too?

    December 9, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. David

    Find out who's in charge and let's make sure they all go. I don't care if a monkey is running in 1012. I will vote for the monkey rather than the current Congress. They have done NOTHING right. All they have done is taken a bad situation and made it worse. Just please vote them out people. Many of us aren't going to make it till the election after this one. I don't care if your Democrat, Republican, or Independent. You cannot deny those currently in charge need to go. I don't care what party wins. Just put somebody in there who can do their job and get things rolling. This congress was a national embarrassment. Even China was laughing at us.

    December 9, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Sheepleherder

    If you are unwilling to throw out your own representative, the problem will never get any better. Any of them that has been in office more than two terms has already been corrupted. We must all be willing to say to them, that if they chose not to look out for the best interest of the COUNTRY first, they will lose their job. As long as there are voters who are not willing to forgo the scraps of garbage their legislators toss them, it is futile.

    December 9, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. mike

    And to think, the t-bagger Congressmen pride themselves on their obstructionism...to thinkm, they're getting paid to go out of their way to not do anything. It's going to be glorious watching those clowns get thrown out on their butts after a single term.

    December 9, 2011 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Jasie

    Throw out Obama too because he is trying to change us into a socialist county and he spends money like a drunken sailor.

    December 9, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Goodguy1

    Get rid of the baby boomer politicians...they have laid the country low.

    December 9, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. jamison

    These elitist GOP buffoons should all be voted out. We need a Congress that will work with the President and FOR not AGAINST the public. Before they leave however they should all be thrown in jail for insider stock trading. If you or I did that we would be sitting next to Bernie Madoff.

    December 9, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. djanes

    I'm sick of all of them! I'm a conservative voter and I'm completely dissatisfied with both Republican and Democratic sides of the isle. Vote them out!

    December 9, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. rcsdinthehills

    I have been saying for months that we need to get rid of them all. It makes me so happy to hear that a few others agree with me. I say vote for anyone who isnt Democrat or Republican. It can't possibly make it any worse. See you at the polls!

    December 9, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. bob

    Unfortunately what most people mean is that my congressman or senator is doing a good job, the voters from the other states should vote theirs out. So except for the few that made the mistake of being honest and up front all will stay.

    December 9, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Joe in Kalispell, MT

    One term then gone!
    Vote them all out in November 2012.

    December 9, 2011 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Throw them all out, Democrats, Republicans, Green, Socialists, Tea. I want new people, but not new people from Texas. After 12 years of Bush, I had it with Texas.

    December 9, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. NN

    This is the beginning of the end, the American people are in for much worse! You really didn't think blind luck was going to sustain a people as dumb and ignorant as you forever, did you?

    December 9, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. srichey

    Republican, Democrat. I don't really care as long as they are moderate and can work with the "other side".

    December 9, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. TW

    Term Limits...Term Limits...Term Limits...No career politicians. Everyday people who go to do their duty and return home. Working class(middle class americans) doing what is right. You know there is a problem when it takes 30 mil to run a success campain for a job that pays 180k or so. And then there is the people who do not think for themselves when voting and walk in and vote party line like good sheep. Pick the person you THINK will do the best job after really THINKING about what that person stands for.

    December 9, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Derrique3

    Yes, Congress isn't doing so hot. On the other hand, neither is the president. 65% of voters (nearly 3/4) don't approve of the way he fumbles our economy. I say we purge EVERYONE, starting from the top, down.

    December 9, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. shut_up

    oblowzo the first to go! take holder and big rear mecheellleeelleee with them

    December 9, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Macmaven

    I say throw them all out. Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, forget the partisan crap, and vote for the other guy this time around.

    December 9, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. rr

    If you want to vote out congress then vote for me. I am an Independent running a grassroots campaign for congress in West Virginia's 1st district. Vote for change in 2012. Join our campaign and help elect an Independent to congress in 2012. Join here : http://raymondvdavisiiiforuscongress.webs.com

    December 9, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. Rod Planter

    Liberals: They call us 'greedy' while they rob us blind, and then turn around and pass our money to their wealthy friends and buy votes from leeches. They impoverish and enslave entire generations of people, while extolling their empathy. Then they call us 'stupid' for thinking for ourselves, and learning the lessons of history. And their enablers in the media and the education sector not only permit this, but participate in the game. You cant have an honest discourse with a liberal as they are dishonest at times I think its even detrimental to let them know of our plans and ideas as conservatives as they will look to subvert them at every turn.

    December 9, 2011 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Macmaven

    Liberals this and Conservaties that. If you are so blind as a voter and citizen, that you can't see the process is broken, no matter what side of the fence you are on, then this country deserves to burn.

    December 9, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Sonny

    Perhaps more important than Congress is to dump a completely ineffective President!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Job218

    Its time to get rid of Paul Ryan for attacking the teachers jobs in Wisconsin, Cantor for calling protestors mobsters, McConnel for trying to impeach the president for political gain, and Boehner for failing to be a Majority leader. While we are at it, Its time to get rid of the T-Party already!

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

    Judging by Washington's actions, or lack thereof, it seems we are like the European Parliment. It matters less who we select as Presidnet, as when there is a divided Congress nothing gets done. So for the 2012 elections if we want government to actually function we need to elect one party or the other to both houses of Congress and the Presidency. All Democrats or all Republicans. And that means to super majority in the Senate so the ruling party can get their now required 60 votes to get anything passed.

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