Poll: Voters want to throw 'em out
December 9th, 2011
11:54 AM ET
3 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. Roger

    9% Boehner.
    Can't wait to vote!
    Obstruct, divert, lie!
    No More!

    December 9, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Roger

    Time for hot cup of Joe!
    No more Tea!

    December 9, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Steve wrote:
    People that serve in Congress until they die, whether you agree with their politics or not, are usually serving the people that elected them.
    ---------------
    Are you talking about Democrats or Republicans? I ask because one of the longest serving Senators, Mitch McConnell, R-KY, is one record stating that his number one goal was to make Pres. Obama a one term president. The Senator made this pronouncement last year this time when the Congress was in a lame duck session trying to work out economic issues.

    That same day, Democrats were standing in front of microphones discussing the pending legislation and the state of the negotiations to find solutions. McConnell's message to the people was that his goal was to see Obama lose.

    December 9, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Susan

    Hi Everyone – Obama will be impeached for giving assault rifles to the cartels that killed over 200 people and border patrol agent Brian Terry.

    December 9, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Really

    The only thing that is set in stone is the fact that Obama will be a tough contender for the clowns that the Republicans have on the chopping block. He will most likely win in 2012, but what happens to congress in 2012 will probably be the biggest change of guard since 2010. Honestly people were disappointing with congress before 2010, but now they are absolutely infuriated. It's all going to be up in the air and you can bet that the obstructionism won't cease after 2012.

    December 9, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Thank you God for giving America the best President perhaps in all of U.S. History. Obama is a fighter and a real warrior, unlike Bush who cooked hamburgers at his TexASS ranch for 8 years straight while bin Laden threatened America from his nice snug hideout in Pakistan. The GOP will NEVER even come close to Obama and they are jealous as hell because Obama is light years smarter than they could ever aspire to be.

    December 9, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  7. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Congratulations President Obama and Vice President Biden on your re-election in 2012 – in advance!!!!

    December 9, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Jerry

    Tossing the Democrats and its clueless leader IS REALLY the first step. PLEASE include Bobble Head Pelosi, Senile Reed, Weiner wannabe Debbie Whats-her-Man Schultz, etc. etc., ect.

    America, we can and must overcome!

    December 9, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Dorothy P.

    Why would the president order a false -flag operation under ATF called "Fast and Furious" and then pretend he knew nothing about it when he told Mrs. James Brady that his administration was working on "something big under the radar."

    December 9, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Why would the president order a false -flag operation under ATF called "Fast and Furious" and then pretend he knew nothing about it when he told Mrs. James Brady that his administration was working on "something big under the radar.""

    Oh, now that one's easy: because he's a kenyan born no-birf-surtifikate-haviog sekret mooslin sharia jihadi soshulist Marxist Chairm Mao worshiper who wants to blackify Amurika!

    December 9, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. JohnW

    @Fair is Fair
    It's pretty hard to base something on my logic when I was reiterating someone else's flawed logic. What I was saying is that taking two statements and coming up with a conclusion that doesn't reflect either of the two original statements doesn't hold water.

    December 9, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Rudy (who commented) "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."

    I don't believe even they understand themselves anymore, or what it is they are trying to accomplish. And yes, the party IS in a panic mode. Witness the comments these past few months from their most devoted ... flailing from one candidate to another. I agree with you. I don't understand the party anymore either. Haven't for some time now.

    December 9, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. v_mag

    People still haven't copped to how screwed we are when it comes to "voting the bums out". The "bums" make the rules, including gerrymandering districts so that 90% are safe, having 2 (and only 2) parties, presidential primaries in a small number of small states deciding who the rest of us get to choose from, and an electoral college that assures defacto disenfranchisement for the large majority of voters. And above all, a campaign finance system that sells seats in Congress to the highest bidders.

    Oh, yeah, we're screwed. It's gonna take a lot more than an election to change things, or they would have been changed already.

    December 9, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Susan wrote:

    Hi Everyone – Obama will be impeached for giving assault rifles to the cartels that killed over 200 people and border patrol agent Brian Terry.
    --------------
    Not Nostradamus, you are. The future you seek. Give you a peek I shall. By landslide margin Pres Obama wins he does. Dismantled the Tea Party is.

    December 9, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Portland tony

    I'm always a little dubious of telephone polls. Were they landlines,which favor the senior, or I phones, which are used by people on the go. Anyway 900 people don't make a mandate and I'll bet half don't know their representative's name. However lets say the poll is accurate. Well we threw a bunch of House members out during the last election. They were replaced by a bunch of dedicated albeit inexperienced individuals who barely had time to find the Congressional bathroom, before having to start campaigning all over again. This is where it gets hard. The stalwarts of
    their respective parties demand these rookies vote in exchange for the party's support during the next election. So unless a congressman is super popular, he may serve a two year term and go home. So to do some good all ye voters, throw the sheep Herders out but keep the sheep.

    December 9, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "America, we can and must overcome!"

    Overcome what? The vast overwhelming consensus among expert economists (who btw are gathered in DC for a big conference on this very subject) that what Amurika and EU need to do to fix this mess is INCREASE gov't spending, direct purchasing by the gov't and hiring by the gov't in order to forcefully generate demand AND that the austerity obsession and massive cutting policies that the political machines in Amurika and EU are leaning towards are EXACTLY THE WRONG THING TO DO AND WILL MAKE THINGS WORSE? Is taht what we need to overcome...common sense expert economic advice that threatens to undermine a century of conservative ideology?

    December 9, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. Ancient Texan

    I suspect a lot of the OLD GUARD "establishment" politicians on both sides of the aisle will become history this next election.

    December 9, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Thank you God for giving America the best President perhaps in all of U.S. History. Obama is a fighter and a real warrior, unlike Bush who cooked hamburgers at his TexASS ranch for 8 years straight while bin Laden threatened America from his nice snug hideout in Pakistan. The GOP will NEVER even come close to Obama and they are jealous as hell because Obama is light years smarter than they could ever aspire to be
    ------------------------
    ...And that's THE TRUTH!!! Well said. Thank you.

    December 9, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. str8Vision

    It doesn't matter. The greatest threat to U.S. national security isn't from foreign terrorist's, energy dependence or financial collapse, it's from our current "vote for sale" political system that created all the other threats through legislation and policy. The candidates we get to choose from at election time are ALL rich, hand picked and sponsored by special interest and or corporate America. Democrat or Republican? Regan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama and all the members of Congress under them have directly contributed to America's downward spiral. From an un-regulated Wall street bankrupting the economy, the trillion dollar war in Iraq that was based on lies, deception and...oil, Free trade agreements that forced our manufacturing sector and its middle class jobs overseas, to mortgaging our children's future to provide Wall street a golden parachute, the laws they passed are the direct cause of our current crisis/decline. Like race car drivers politicians should wear uniforms adorned with logos and patches of the corporations, special interest groups and lobbyist who sponsored/own them.

    December 9, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @Re Tarded Domican Mama
    I must've hit a nerve.Glad to hear it.
    P.S. Learn to spell.
    @Lynda: I'm in Lynda all the way!!!

    December 9, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Democrats Answer pointed out the same sentiment in 2010 that resulted in the Republican Party sweep of the House and Fillibuster control of the Senate. Now that people have seen this in action, what makes him think that these same Republicans are gonna stick around? Most of the voter anger appears to be from the 1/3 of the voters who are independents and they seem to be more against the Republican House and Senate members than they are against the Democrats. Plus as the Tea Party has fractured the Republican Party, I can almost see a new class of voters to replace the Reagan Democrats. We can call them the Obama Republicans!

    December 9, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. Stupidity2darnhigh

    I said it after midterms and I will say it again. This is what happens when you don't vote. If all those people across the country that actually got up to vote in 2008 came back and did their privileged right again in the midterms, we probably wouldn't be going through this crap with RepubliCons destroying this country just to make Obama look bad.

    So keep it up. Don't vote, watch Republicans take control of the White House again and then watch your livelihood become a very distant memory because we all will get screwed........AGAIN.

    December 9, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. danel

    I Agree wholeheartedly. Congress is corrupt not deserving reelection. We need new faces, new ideas and not beholden to lobbyist or big money corporation.

    December 9, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. Sagebrush Shorty

    I'm a conservative Republican, but I agree that we should get rid of all of them.

    December 9, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. GimeeABreak

    A new president would be good. Get rid of the "divider-in-chief!

    December 9, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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