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. me

    OWS, Take up the cause. Let's get them out!!!! But keep Obama until we have a better choice in 2016.

    December 9, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. John Gabriel

    Would love to throw them all out and elect me as your president. Well, I was not born in the US yet when I received US citizenship, I was informed that I had the same equal rights as everyone else. They obviously lied to me because I cannot be president.

    I bet my life that I could do a better job than any president before me. However, I would require dictatorial power for at least 4 years.

    December 9, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. idb

    Sure enough most of the bums in congress need to go, but the same goes for the bums in the Senate. America can do without traitors like Reid, Feinstein, Pelosi and the like. of course Obama is the first to go. I would say, replace them all by cleaning house properly.

    December 9, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. Dave in Ohio

    Borrowing a line from the 60's, if you aren't part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

    Since there aren't any solutions coming from Washington, they are all part of the problem. Throw them all out, even if you think your guy is doing the job. If things aren't getting better, your guy is part of the problem.

    December 9, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  5. james

    YES !! someone ( us ) flush the toilet. This must end, and lets have some term limits.

    December 9, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Dean

    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........................................................So the same worthless people will be re-elected by the ignorant voters of this country.

    December 9, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. cured76

    Be careful what you wish for. The Tea Party was an answer to this but those cats are collecting the same lobbyist money we corrupts our politicians. The people can go but the money and influence will be there so long as nobody does anything about it.

    December 9, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. ConcernedNetizen

    "And the 20% who say congressional members should be re-elected is a record low-one point below the previous low recorded in August." - Who the heck are these people?! Congress is doing NOTHING but HELPING THEMSELVES TO OUR MONEY. Re-elect em? Impeach em!!

    December 9, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Pragmatist

    The President, Congress and the Senate need to be replaced with people who are pragmatists. We need compromise and coherent policy to get this country back on its feet, not politicians trying to keep their jobs fighting for special interests.

    December 9, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  10. Keith

    People always hate congress but love their congress person.

    December 9, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. TommiGI

    Across the board ouster? I sure hope so. What a perfect time for a new 99%er third party to emerge and give us a choice besides blue and red.

    December 9, 2011 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. bolitho blane

    vote for none of the above...

    December 9, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. mike halter

    Time to clean America's house.

    December 9, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. DM

    THEY still get a paycheck for life! They'll be sitting pretty regardless! They dont even need to be in congress to make bank.

    December 9, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. WestPA

    Democrats, Republicans. It's like KFC and Taco Bell, they're supposed to offer different flavors, but both owed by the same system, so it doesn't really matter which wins. If voters want any real change, they have to divorce our two corrupt parties. But they won't. It's too convenient to just throw the straight party lever. It's way too much work to actually read what the candidates' do, much less what they believe.

    December 9, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. exNavyBrooklyn

    To SEAL Team Alpha and Omega
    I know you are not really a Navy Seal and you shouldn't try to pretend that you are or were one.

    December 9, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  17. pgc

    Problem is that everyone thinks THEIR representative is good and non-partisan, which of course is absurd but everyone wants to vote the other representatives out. Folks need to consider voting for persons who emphasize the word COMPROMISE in their campaigns and, more importantly while in office.

    December 9, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. Dale

    Kick the bums out and insist upon a two-year term limit, this will make it where the top 1% fat cats will have to buy a new puppet every eight years.

    December 9, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Republican who supports President Obama

    EVERYONE should go to the polls next year and make sure their local congressperson and senator know how you feel about the mess in DC. I will for sure!

    December 9, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Larry R

    Like Occupy this is just empty frustration. It's always throw the other bum out. The real issues are deeper- the inordinate amount of money required to get and stay in office, our inept media, poor education, bad priorities, money equated to speech by Supreme Court and the successful manipulation of public opion by PR firms and politicians employing fear. See America Adrift the book and America-Adrift.com for more.

    December 9, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  21. cjg

    I say all the tea party repubs , get the boot , either recalled or voted out. If they can not agree to anything on a bipartisain basis then throw the bums out! I am sick of these sactimonious extremists in the GOP. I think we need middle of the road independents !

    December 9, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. RichP

    Vote anybody but Republicans or democrat in the next election. Libertarians, Independents, etc just no more party liners.

    December 9, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. EdSantaFe

    Here in Maine we'll be trying to oust (at some point) Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. OUT OUT OUT

    December 9, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. james

    These people have become too comfortable in D.C. term limits will weed out the career politicos. We need to make them show progress, like teacher have to.

    December 9, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  25. ron mcloughlin

    Absolutely, throw the bums out except Obama.

    December 9, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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