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.

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Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Polls
soundoff (419 Responses)
  1. Logic in LA

    Houston-and how would you know who and how people voted in 2010? I understand that many democrats stayed home, but I doubt it was the political activist.
    As for those calling for reform in Congress, no one is going to vote for a pay decrease or cut in benefits for themselves. And since Congress sets those figures, you need ot look at your own representative very careful and let them know how you feel. Poll show that as upset as we are with the whole, we seem to think "our guy" is OK- this is simply not so!

    December 9, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. 1crusader

    The main problem with Congress is extremism and obstructionism.Voters need to take time and weed through the candidates.Those causing dysfunction should be ousted.There are new batch of extremists that are waiting to take your Congressman's place; so do your homework because we don't need more of the same.

    December 9, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. ..a laurel and hardy handshake..

    Say Ollie, does this mean THAT THE TEA PARTY, or as I say, THE ROADBLOCK TO US PROGRESS PARTY, will loose their jobs NEXT NOVEMBER ?
    .
    Well Stanley, YOU ARE QUITE THE POLITICAL OBSERVER – AND YOU ARE CORRECT !

    December 9, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  4. DJ

    Especially John Campbell here in the Orange Curtain aka the OC. He is complete deadbeat and doesn't do a single thing for his District or local cities.

    December 9, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. BlackPanthers2020

    What they need to do is offer a full disclosure of whom they open their pockets to ......if they do this , in which they won't , most members of congress would be removed from office because of ethics violations ........tap their phones and their computer networks and find out who they are selling our country too....

    December 9, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. ZB

    It is testement to the lunacy of the American People that they think congress should go but not their congress person. Unfortunately the problem is not with congress but with the Republican/Tparty that beleives having a disfunctional congress serves thier ultimate agend of destroying government and especially the Union. Make no mistake, the Republican/Tparty is really nothing more then the party of the old civil war south and their goal is to refight the civil war, destroy the Union, and bring back slavery and exploitation in the name of god.

    December 9, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  7. JohnW

    @Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS
    That's some really impressive backwards thinking. The anti-incumbent feelings are stronger now than in 2010; in 2010, Democrats were largely swept out of office; therefore more Democrats will be swept out of office. I mean, wow.

    December 9, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  8. Name

    The article reveals why we're in such a mess. The majority believe the need to throw all the bums out – well except their favorite bum. the intellectual limits of America's voters.

    December 9, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Steve

    Term limits are NOT the answer. We already have a problem with people coming and going in Washington. All term limits do is give people a reason to rejoin the public sector and use their new-found contacts to enrich themselves. People that serve in Congress until they die, whether you agree with their politics or not, are usually serving the people that elected them.

    December 9, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    @ JohnW – based on your logic, the democrats, with 23 seats to defend compared to the GOP with 10, are going to be in a world of hurt in the Senate, huh?

    December 9, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. livingston

    Get your resumes up to date guys! When we said we were fed up with your nonsense we meant it! You are history come November!

    December 9, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Peggy - TX

    Kick the bumbs out, Kick out the extreme right want to obstruct the President, Kick out the extreme left that are not helping . Kick out the Repubs – traders that have signed pludge to Norquest. Kick out any one that thinks it is Ok to tie something like approval for pipe line project to tax breakes for the middle class b/c they are beholden to some special interest and kick out everyone beholden to the top 1% . Time to clean house.

    December 9, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    As much as conservatives want to blast Obama over the annual deficit, the fact remains that the annual deficit is still at the amount as Bush's last fiscal year, FY2009, which would be roughly $1.5 trillion.

    Growth of the annual deficit has always been a hallmark of every Republican administration for the last 5 decades. Sniffit is correct. Deficits grow faster, by a wide margin, under Republican administrations than under Democratic administrations. Those are the facts.

    Another distrubing trend is that everytime "trickle down tax cuts" are enacted, the economy has reacted in a consistet manner. Once enacted, the markets go on a feeding frenzy for a number of months, rising in the process. At some point, the feeding kicks into another gear and greed takes over. The market drops, and an economic downturn ensues. The economic slump always seems to last roughly twice as long as the feeding frenzy. The BTCs started a frenzy in 2001 that lasted 6 years, until 2007. This would predict that our current economic downturn will last 12 years, until 2019.

    December 9, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Dominican bway for Obama

    it's trash days, put all the GOP on the trash bag. No they're not supposed to go on the recycle bin just pure trash, no one needs them or will reuse them. Just throw them out!!!

    December 9, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Reggie from LA

    For those of you who cut off your VOTING noses to spite 2010? Don't do it again. Look at the Repub roadblock it got us.

    December 9, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. GOP TeaParty Clown Car Myth the Flip Flopper vs. Newt the "Family Values" serial Adulterer

    Cna't wait to VOTE STRAIGHT PARTY LINE all DEMOCRATIC ticket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's time to kick the TEABAGGERS OUT!!!!

    December 9, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. billskip

    ZB

    It is testement to the lunacy of the American People that they think congress should go but not their congress person. Unfortunately the problem is not with congress but with the Republican/Tparty that beleives having a disfunctional congress serves thier ultimate agend of destroying government and especially the Union. Make no mistake, the Republican/Tparty is really nothing more then the party of the old civil war south and their goal is to refight the civil war, destroy the Union, and bring back slavery and exploitation in the name of god.

    December 9, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
    --------------------------------–

    THAT IS AN ABSOLUTE LIE!!! YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE TEA PARTY!!

    December 9, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Ram Riva -- Calexico CA

    On a very fast pace CNN is becoming the new FOX news....they ignore the truth all the time....even the so called "neutral" Wolf Blitzer....who praises everyday everything the GOP says....Mr Cafferty is a lost cause....is really a shame that "hate and recism" is running everything in the US....the world thought the USA gave an incredible example of democracy in 2008....now they know, they were wrong.....

    December 9, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  19. Me

    My congressman in The House of Representatives is Sheila Jackson Lee. SHE STAYS

    December 9, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. FactCheck

    Nice try CNN! This was also said before the 2010 elections and it was the Democrats that were swept away.
    -----

    Keep those rose colored glasses on.. you're gonna need them after Nov 2012. The GOp better prepare for a complete blitzkrieg.

    December 9, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    The closest Mitty boy, Gingrich, Bachman, Perry, Paul, Santorum, Huntsman or Cain will ever get to the Oval Office is when Obama uses a wadded up newspaper with their names on the Editorial back page Opinion article to scoop up his dog’s poop from the White House lawn and then toss it in the trash can before making his acceptance speech.

    December 9, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    @ JohnW – based on your logic, the democrats, with 23 seats to defend compared to the GOP with 10, are going to be in a world of hurt in the Senate, huh?
    -------------
    Nope. That was then, this is now. As Gov. Kasich, R-OH, so eloquently put it this past Election Day. "We overreached." And The People remember. The Republican Party is making sure that The People do not forget, either. They keep making political blunders one right after the other.

    I don't understand the party anymore. The only conclusion that makes sense is that the party is in panic mode. It's lacking in singular leadership, riddled with chaos, and undermined by greed.

    December 9, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. FactCheck

    Congress approval before the 2010 midterm elections: 30 %
    Congress approval today after the Republicans frenzy: 11%

    December 9, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. rs

    Tossing out the Republicans will be the best first step (Gitmo anyone?). But, the Democrats better not get too complacent either. there is quite a bit of deadwood there as well. If nothing else, gross GOP/TP arrogance has awakened the American voter, and at least for now, they are paying attention and seeing they have been sold a bill of goods by current office holders.

    December 9, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. rs

    @Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Is that why the American Communist Party out polls the GOP/TP members in Congress??? Wake up!

    December 9, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
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