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. Anonymous

    Obama is nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing, and if anyone thinks differently needs to have there heads examined!

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

    Really? Only 2/3rds? The other third must either be brain dead, in a coma or already in congress or the house of reps....

    December 9, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. james

    To be honest the tea party is a complete joke, everytime I turn on my tv to cnn or watch the senate or house I hear them crying. Im in the state of Ohio and Ive seen my friends loose there jobs over nonsense Ive worked for the companies that are sending jobds overseas. Ive seen the small bussiness dry up and go away now boarded up or just simply empty . Some people say is do to greed some say is rasicm i say its flat out stupidity on the part of the voters that didnt vote. I am apart of the 99% and I have a job Ive always had a job i have a daughter to feed and a family to take care of but im not blind to my surrondings. I will vote for obama in the next election because he done a great job under the nonsense he has to go through and when the election is said and done we will have a democratic controlled house senate and white house.

    December 9, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. james

    vote all Republican out, for what i see they are only out to rape the hard working Americans, and kill off the old and sick, if they care they would stop there fighting and truly help, why dont they give back the money the us post office over paid? all they want to to is run us in the ground get rid of them all i know i want vote for any republic, and look at the one that is running to knock out Obama, it just go to show you they hate gay's, why cant we all be treated the same in the county

    December 9, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Anti-GOP-DNC

    In this, the former Democratic Republic of the United States that has been replaced by a fully functioning Plutocracy, how can one replace a sitting plutocrat with another and expect a different result? We need to be preparing for another Great Depression, if not for another world war. The greed of a select few has just about caught up.

    December 9, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. batjones

    Somehow a sample pool of 1000 people to represent 150 million voters for 435 representatives seems like a very small and insufficient sample. These broad national polls never get down to predictions at the local level. They are useless as a gauge, when there is natural turnover of retirement and re-districting. CNN could have at least provided some analysis as to whether there were regional, urban or rural variations.

    December 9, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. 2607

    yes! USA gets what it deserves! You voted for these s o b ' s in the midterm elections 2010 so deal with it.

    December 9, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Anon

    If the responses to this piece are any indication of the intelligence of the voting public in this country.....Dear God help us.....

    December 9, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Reasonably

    Just surprised it's not higher. Fire them all, but please do your research on who you vote in as replacements!

    December 9, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. james

    No more wars in 2012

    December 9, 2011 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Typical. Voters want to get rid of A congressman, just not theirs.

    December 9, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. joan

    please somebody put up a referedum for term limits... I say 2 terms max for both the House and the Senate and one 6 yr presidential term...

    December 9, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. DC Johnny

    Rudy NYC – Convenient how you just forget to mention that Bush's last year included a series of one-time expenditures in the form of bailouts and stimulus packages. Did you do that intentionally or are you just ignorant?

    Obama and his administration have allowed those one-time spending sprees to become part of the ANNUAL BUDGET, and people like you spread the myth that it's just them keeping the Bush budget. In reality, every chance this administration has gotten, it spends and spends and spends again.

    Why not tax the rich another few percentage points? Because Obama will squander it, just like everything else.

    Keep citing Bush deficits as if the stimulus was supposed to be annual thing. Loser.

    December 9, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. C.L.

    Arrest Holder, Impeach Obama.

    December 9, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Rick

    Only 76%?

    December 9, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Jewels

    There does need to be changes. Unfortunately in Utah my vote counts little - and Orrin Hatch will likely be re-elected...ugh

    December 9, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. Ajay

    I am one of the voters who will vote against my congress representative. Mainly because she did not even have the courtesy of answering the 2 e-mails sent about 2 years ago. When her office was called, the person who answered said she would answer when she would get time!

    December 9, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. ATPMSD

    Problem is most people believe the "other guys" need to be kicked out but "their guy" is OK. The result will be a lot get re-elected. We need to toss them ALL out.

    December 9, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. Dave

    Vote them all out ASAP!. And keep voteing them out until we get people to do the will of the people.

    December 9, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. skibum101355

    PR and some of the others are right on track. Lets vote them out until it comes to my elected official. He's ok. He brings Federal money back to our state. The only way to stop it, because the voters aren't smart enough, is term limits. And no voting or ass kissing by congressmen for money for their own state. That is a conflict of interest. If it is that justified the others congressmen will vote for it. Then maybe we won't have a trillion dollar deficet. Like the worthless airports in Missouri and Pennsylvania

    December 9, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. AJS

    As an Independent voter, I will be voting with the democrats. Obama all the way.

    December 9, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. JohnnyRipps

    Democrats are hell bent on destroying America, and most Americans are too ignorant to see or admit it....Republicans only have control of one house, not both...the problems with the blockage is with Harry Reid not calling votes on bills before the Senate. His intentions are to blame it all on the Republicans. Yesterday they stated since the Republican takeover, only half the number of laws have been passed in comparison to when the Democrats had total control...using a business term by saying the Republicans are unproductive....when in fact the Republicans are trying to cut back on government control in our lives, cutting the pork , and handouts to special interest groups who are hurting Americas recovery. Less government control is the answer, not everyone dependent on the government. Our system has had its ups and downs throughout history, but for over 200 years it has worked. Whats hurting it now is too much government intervention in our lives. If Obama and the Democrats are re-elected, you can say goodbye to America and the American dream!.....Wake up America......the worst of the GOP will be 10 times better than Obama.

    December 9, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. rukiddinme

    get out the broom...time to clean house. Lazy Dems and Repubs!

    December 9, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Feast of Beast

    If there were term limits, the situation wouldn't be as bad. I'm really sick of the "No tax increases for any reason" bowlshyt philosophy from the right. Republicans are doing everything they can to shame the president at any cost, without considering the wants or needs of the American society. So get out!

    December 9, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. 50pdb

    Just remember – these obstuctionist rode in on a "rogue" wave and they are playing the part of the ROGUES! Vote them the "F" out come November! ALL OF THEM! The GOP for being obstructionists and the DEMS for not passing all of the damn legislation they could have when they had control of both houses! No matter what – BHO will get my vote come next November. Hopefully, he can start with a new casts of legislators who give a damn about the rest of the people in this country and also enough to get something done without all of the BULLS...!

    December 9, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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