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. KS

    We just need to take one big pooper scooper and clean everyone of them out.

    December 9, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Bob F

    I'm a left-of-center independent. "Throw 'em out" is a good idea. I'd even vote to replace Obama if there was an acceptable alternative. Of course, the Republicans are not going to offer such an alternative (they'll never nominate Romney, alas). If Hilary Clinton were somewhere on a ticket, I'd vote for her in place of Obama.

    December 9, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Open-Minded

    there needs to be some serious house cleaning... Republicans will not hold any control come November 2012. Barack Obama needs to be elected again. I'm a republican and I say Obama 2012.

    December 9, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Bob

    It will not really matter. Once upon a time political parties made a small impact. Great individual with great ideas were elected. Party was irrelevant. Now, political party brainwashing overshadows any great man with ideas. The lack of education in this country is partly to blame. The US has had a great ride. That ride is about over. The day of the great leader is over. It is about the money of a political party now. It was fun, but it is over.

    December 9, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. FlopFlipper

    Its the same old story.

    Everyone hates Congress.

    But they like their own representative in their own district.

    December 9, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. cony 007

    obama 2012 Landslide and that is what the Republicans want. They didn't want to run the country in the last election because they knew what was coming down the pipe. This election is going to be the same thing. They have no one worth spit to win. Why? So they can continue to blame the black guy for all the problems that the US has. There is no more Goldwater Republican Party. What you have now is a bunch of evil and racist people running this party. It should be call the party of Evil and not the Party of No. The civil war never ended just listen to these nutjobs.

    December 9, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. C.L.

    Hey Jennifer, what are you smoking girlfriend. ATF giving assault rifles to cartel members has been going on for years and will continue because the People will not awaken until 2012.

    December 9, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. db

    Clean the HOUSE, SENATE, and EXECUTIVE offices out. The only way to send a message to Washington is go CLEAN ALL the bums out of office. They are total failures and should be thrown out. It is to bad that they cannot all be changed out, Reid somehow got reelected when the best thing the opposition could muster was a quack. But even a quack could not do as much damage as he has done.

    December 9, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Martha in CF

    I agree with Jeff from MA--they all need to be gone and then voted in again if electable and will do what they were elected to do. Congress needs a paycut and a pretty drastic one at that--After leaving or retiring from congress there should be NO pay or pension given-NO healthcare either-they can go out and fend for it on their own like the rest of us--they should be able to afford it as most of them leave congress as millionaires.................

    December 9, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. rj

    This article is bs. Other polls indicated that congress has a 19% approval rating. People don't want more of the same (do nothing) and people are questioning the effectiveness and dirty dealings of lifetime politicians. Ask around more people are contemplating term limits.

    December 9, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  11. Lizzie

    Ib42,wrote "In a nation of intellegent people " people like who???? Who don't know who the candidate is, and vote strictly by being told that they make history, and we take from the rich and give to the poor??? Those people.

    December 9, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. paul

    DUH!!!!! CNN has a wonderful way of stating the obvious!!!!

    December 9, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Brian

    The poll is not factually correct. It does not ask specifically about your Conressman. Most polls show that the American people dislike congress in whole but when asked about their Conressman specifically they like him / her

    December 9, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  14. Embarrassed to be Republican

    All I can say is that it is time to flush both houses clean and get a fresh start. And while your at it demand a 2 term limit on both the senate and congress, no more living of the taxpayers dime. We should be given an opt-out clause on elected officials, if you don't play nice together and serve our interests (don't forget YOU ARE WORKING FOR US) we should be able to throw your self-serving butts out and get someone in who will.

    December 9, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  15. dcarr

    I can't decide which is worse. The do nothing congress that we have now that fights the president on every last detail or the anything goes congress we had when Bush was president full of Democrats who rolled over on every push.

    December 9, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  16. RALPH

    I think the reason why have an unreliable congress and president is because Americans are not longer interested in voting and even more being informed of who their representative are....It is very sad to see some TV reporters doing survey in the street and asking people questions such as who is the Speaker of the House (who is the 3rd on line in power) and they can not even name him...

    December 9, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. jasonlewis1624

    They all need to go. Not just one party or the other. Congress and the White House as a whole has failed.

    December 9, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. pierre glenn

    All politicans in local, state, federal should give up there seat ... cause they all been brought.

    December 9, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Tel

    "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."

    And there's the rub. As long as that keeps being the case, no major changes are going to happen.

    December 9, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Mark O'Neill

    It always has been, "Throw the bums out, except my guy!" That is why Congress does what it always does, they screw us, and make rich folk (and themselves) richer. You want to change things: 1) change the laws that allow lobbying, 2) change the laws that allow members of Congress to move into lobbying jobs after they leave Congress – ban it, 3) get rid of retirement and healthcare packages they presently receive. and 4) make them pay into social security, and the only healthcare they get is the same as all Americans. We would save billions by those simple rules alone.

    December 9, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. anonymous

    I too am in that 75%, and I have been saying exactly that for quite some time now.

    December 9, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. lee

    President Obama done nothing. He may be smart but he is not made to be a President. We need Experience, experience, experience.....We need voters.voters.voters...People don't realize when running the country it is a mass of people as in our Senate and Congress offices that the past and current issues come from. It takes months or years for taxes, social security, housing, economic metrics to work itself from its present state. We the people are at fault. Something doesn't work out from one party we vote another? Is this a conscience decision or a quick thinking one?

    December 9, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. Tom

    I doubt the gridlock would end with all new people. You need, instead, to send a message. Kind of like "You're being fired for gridlock. You're being fired for wasting the money of voters." The ones you bring in to replace will otherwise fall back down into the same actions that's caused the current problems.

    December 9, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. scoto

    But they will end up voting for them anyway.

    December 9, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  25. Chris

    Goodbye and good riddance, Teapublicans.

    December 9, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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