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:

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Bachmann will not take part in Trump debate

Paul: 'I have to expose' Gingrich


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Polls
soundoff (419 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Congress has lost their ability to compromise for the common good of the country, because We the People have lost the same ability. They are a reflection of us, and until We the People find the common good and stop acting like the Yanks and the Rebels did before the Civil War, we will have a civil war....as a matter of fact, we are already in the middle of a civil war, fueled by the mass media, inflaming the digital mob mentality that lives on the Internet. There is unholy financial profit to be made by those in power as long as our house is divided. Wake up, People!! We hang together, or die separately.

    December 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Stephen

    This just reinforces how utterly stupid the American public is! Throw out members of Congress – but NOT my member! That is because Americans are selfish. Everyone wants to cut "waste" but nothing is wasteful if it helps me. We need to have an intelligence test before we allow people to vote.

    December 9, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Time for a return to ethical behavior!!!!

    All lobbying by special interests needs to be made illegal, and corporations are not people.
    .
    Plus, bribery is not speech, nor is money a form of speech. Financial support is not speech and never was.

    December 9, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. hz

    first make sure the president is throw out, then we can talk about throw out every senator/congressman from both party.

    December 9, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Patriot

    What this Congress and the wing nuts who stand "on principal" fail to grasp is that the founders intentionally designed our political system to create COMPROMISE so that one view point or person can control all the people.

    When Mitch McConnell says to the world, his job is to make the President a one term presdient, really kind of undermines the other side's confidence that the guy is bargaining in good faith. Ditto on that young gun, Eric Cantor. Would you trust anything he says? If I were John Boehner, I would have somebody on six at a all times.

    I have been voting since 1976 and while I was not happy with government then, at least things got done. And, for you wing nuts, Reagan had enough sense to know about compromise. My guess is that in today's climate would not be electable.

    December 9, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Iconoclast

    Won't do any good to just vote them out unless it's accompanied with campaign/lobbyest reforms eliminating access to corporate money. Frankly I have no objection to moderate republicans if it wasn't for this great ideological divide that has been fueled by private money. We need radical lobbyest reform in combination with overturning the Supreme Court ruling re:corporate money. If this isn't addressed very soon I'm afraid Americans themselves will start to become more and more radical in an effort to effect change.

    December 9, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. AQ

    And yet when November rolls around either these same people don't bother voting or simply go with the name they know. Instead of talking about it, voters, let's actually do it! Even if you have to put in a no-name from a third party. It's time we throw Congress out and it would be awfully nice if we could vote to get term limits places on Congress! This lifetime serving is dangerous and stupid. Presidents have limits, governors have limits, mayors have limits – why doesn't congress have limits????

    December 9, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Patriot

    What meant is one person or view point CAN'T control all the people. I stand corrected.

    December 9, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. sancho

    There is no reason we need career politicians in this country. Every position should have term limits associated with it.

    December 9, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Sniffit

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

    HAHAHAHAHA. Did Issa tell you that himself? If GOP strategery every time there's a Dem POTUS is going to be trumping up barely justifiable impeachment charges, then I can guarantee you one thing: there will be a lot of Dem POTUSes moving forward. ALOT.

    December 9, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. QS

    "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."

    See what happens when there's a 'wave' of republican elections.....we get more people like Newt!

    Same thing happened in the 2010 mid-terms – people were more angry than thoughtful and focused more on who they wanted to vote out than in....and we are now seeing the results!

    December 9, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. JJ

    I think it's time to dismiss the Congress, they're just not getting the job done. The People want their government back, it's been for sale too long.

    December 9, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Eric

    GOP holding on to "no tax" policy, even when it is only for the top earners is causing the gridlock. I think most people (and by that I mean the 75% who said so in a poll) think that the richest should be taxed at a higher rate than their housekeepers.

    December 9, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    GimeeABreak, and replace him with what? A serial adulterer who will sell his opinions and " strategic advice" to the highest bidder, or a one-term, flip-flopping governor who runs from his signature accomplishment because it incorporates ideas his party has long held to, but abandoned for policital expediency? The GOP has stated they want Obama to fail, and yet they expect these two badly flawed and inadequate specimens to lead this country? The only place they would lead us into is another depression, which Obama barely averted while taking care of huge structural cracks in health care and while killing 22 out of 30 top Al Queda commanders. Both Romney and Gingrich would have worked for Bin Laden if the fee were big enough.

    December 9, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. jim

    fire all of the self serving bazterds who have all sold Americans out dont forget to scrap their pension plan too.

    December 9, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. WD

    Whatever. They'll keep voting the same people into office over and over.

    December 9, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. roni

    Right. According to this article, everyone wants everyone ELSE'S representative to go. (Except for me). Which means we are going to get most of these jerks back after the election.

    December 9, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. NeoCon13

    The irony is that most members of Congress will be reelected. People are happy with their own Congressman or Senator. But they think the Congressmen and Sens in other districts/states should be thrown out. The problem is that our form of democracy doesn't work that way.

    December 9, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Mike S

    "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."

    This is the only part of the article that matters

    December 9, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Lizzie

    ME, sorry thats the first one I would throw out, but I don't live in Houston, and you have no idea what selfish, racist women she is.

    December 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. JeffinIL

    Yeah, the voters think congress stinks except for "My Guy", who they'll vote right back in just like they've been doing. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    December 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Independent Voters

    Throw the republican out and send them to jail

    December 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. FLIndpendent

    All of you who want the President and the Dems out please enlighten us on what you think is going to be accomplished putting all Repubs in charge again. We tried that and now here we are! President Obama is not the problem since the obstructionists (some Blue Dog Dems included) either watered down his policies or didn't enact them at all. Those who keep saying Obama's policies have hurt the country are ridiculous because most of what he wanted to do did not come to fruition. The majority of Americans voted for President Obama and if this is a true democracy (which is being torn apart more and more) then we should have the right to have his policies enacted – if they succeed then we did the right thing by voting for him, if not, then we move on to someone else.

    December 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. mark

    Just let Obama and Pelosi keep spending more!

    December 9, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. David H

    That Americans think after all thats happened with the banks etc, that its the length one has been in office is the problem is pathetic. The SYSTEM is fatally broken. Our elected leaders owe the money that put them into office from day one. We no longer have a democracy, we have an auction. Wake up America, stop watching dancing with the stars and educate yourselves or you deserve the government you get.

    December 9, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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