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. Bill, NY

    This country needs to go in one direction or another. Nothing is getting done due to the fact that the country is tearing itself apart. If we elect a Democratic president we need a democratic house and senate, the same if we elect a Republican president. We are suffering because the current president is blocked at every intersection by the opposite party. ONE OR THE OTHER HAS TO GO!

    December 9, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Shirley

    Thank goodness it appears that people are waking up and wanting to hold a do nothing Congress responsible for the mess they have caused. It is sickening to listent to the big mouths saying they are going to block every idea the president tries to put out there to help our pathetic situation. Who do these do nothing big mouths think they are working for? Oh, that's right, the lobbist and big biz that pay them off. Throw them all out, and like 'Embarrassed to be a Republican' said 2 term limit and an opt out when they prove themselves greedy do nothings.

    December 9, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. TAX THE POOR TO FEED THE RICH! Let them eat cake!!

    Time is up! Everybody out of the pool! out Out OUT!

    December 9, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Wootings

    Want to make things better? Start by outlawing political parties. Get rid of quasi-governmental positions like Majority Whip etc. Force people to be elected based on their own merits, and eliminate the need to play party politics.

    December 9, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. honest midwest

    I am an Independent and vote for whom I think is best-regardless of party. In 2010 the Tea Party Republicans were voted in – everything is now the biggest mess ever, because they have one goal-get President Obama out, regardless the cost to our great country, our economy and our good people. This is NOT what they were put there to do, and shows their true character. Their blocking of everything to help the middle class, which is really what most of our fine country is, and protect the absolute wealthiest is wrong. We all aspire to becoming wealthy, nothing wrong with that-but a party devoted to being obstructionists at any cost, is not helpful and just sad.

    December 9, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Thomas

    I think the timimg couldn't be better to give these wannabe politicans their own pink slip. This do nothing congress has profited off the sweat of hard working American's long enough. Vote them all out!!!

    December 9, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. TAX THE POOR to give them jobs!!!

    Vote NO! They ALL must GO!

    December 9, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. matt242

    Bring in the SCABS. I bet the common person could do a better job.

    December 9, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. John Illinois

    Throw all the liberal socialists out!

    December 9, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Your Liberal Bias is showing again

    Why do you end by saying "The democrats are battling to win the House while retaining the Senate"...Why not the other way around, "The Republicans are battling to win the Senate while retaining the House"....Why is CNN so left leaning, if I want left leaning slant I'll go to MSNBC....THE NEWS IS SUPPOSED TO BE OBJECTIVELY REPORTED!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Festivus Fairy

    Dear People of Earth – have a joyous and magical Festivus and may the great fairy in the sky watch everything you do constantly via gps guided sky-to-ground video up/down link – Amen

    December 9, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. oldtimer

    Throw them all out from the white house on down. None of them deserve our vote, for none have down their elected duties to the american people. That includes formost our commander for suing our own states and siding with a foreign government (Mexico) over his own people. This is a disgrace of epic proportions. For those congressman and senators that did not side with our states should all loose their jobs. As far as i can see all of them are no more then terrorists against the people of america.

    December 9, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Mike

    THROW EM OUT. Vote for your party, that's fine. But VOTE FOR NEW BLOOD. If EVERY congressman loses, then maybe they will get the message. EVERY ONE.

    December 9, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Anticipatioin

    Time to flush the toilet.

    December 9, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. carrie

    I do not stick up for my congressmn since he does not seem to stick up for me. In my state they are in step with this "new " republican party and it definitely is out of step with middle America!

    December 9, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. matt

    Congress is horrid, but it is a reflection of today's society. As a Democrat, it's hard to even WANT to speak to a Republican, because all they do is scream talking points in your face. It's hard for a Republican to want to speak to a Democrat, because, well, they're completely bigoted against anything they perceive to be a 'liberal' idea... so until we fix this on a peer-to-peer basis, I'm afraid people will keep electing hyper partisan candidates, and the situation will get worse. We ALL have to stop drinking our respective party's Kool-aid and start thinking, and organizing for ourselves. LETS TURN THE COUNTRY FROM RED VS BLUE INTO PURPLE!! We're all descent folk, until politics gets brought up!

    December 9, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Mark L.

    Hate to say I told you so, but, that is in fact what I did after the mid-term elections in 2010 – I told you so !! When all the registered right-wing Republican radical supporters cheered that their party took control of the House, I stated back then that absolutely NOTHING would get accomplished with a Republican-controlled House, Democratic-controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled White House. Now, everyone's in an uproar and rightfully so.

    Let's get one thing straight – One party supports the top 1% of the absolutely wealthiest Americans along with their huge corporations, Wall St. Banks, etc. The other party is in favor of helping the low-to-middle class Americans have a fair shot at everything from respectable wages to affordable healthcare, housing, etc. When you mix the two parties, that leaves NO ROOM for compromise !! It's like getting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to kiss and make up with Benjamin Netanyahu – It'll NEVER happen.

    As a result – you need to either vote in one party or the other. You're only alternative is vote both the Democrats and Republicans OUT and the Independents in.

    December 9, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Epidi

    I'm sick of every last one of them. Out, OUt, OUT!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. MurphInFlorida

    NO MORE CAREER POLITICIANS! Even the honest ones that start off with the best intentions eventually cave in the pressures of corruption all around them. Two terms and you have to sit out at least two terms. And if anyone tries to influence the law maker in any way.....automatic five years in Federal Prison!

    December 9, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Charlie from the North

    What is trickling down on us? it tastes like a mixture of BS and weak tea. Had enough? I have. Let put the adults in charge again. Obama/Biden and any grown-up Dem or Repub should be re-elected and the rest replaced.

    December 9, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Mick

    the other thing that needs to happen immediately: An end to indefinite terms for house and congress. We need to cap at 2 terms, and maybe a third term if they can get a supermajority. No more 40 year careers in congress. They should go to Washington ot solve specific problems of the day and then exit, let the next generation of congressmen and women work on the next issues to be high on our countries list of work to do. No more of this dangling BS issues in front of us like abortion, etc. Get in, do your job, get out. Be happy that you made a difference to making this country better and work for the majority, not the fringes of your party!

    December 9, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. My Country

    Yes, please, please get together and fire all these skunks and bring a more sincere and committed batch in.

    December 9, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Republicons demand the middle-class pays for the 1%’s tax subsidies.

    The tee-baggers sent a bunch of "know-nothings" to Congress in 2010 that turned into the "do-nothings". And you all are surprised? You deserve them, but the rest of us don't.
    Remember when Pelosi was the Speaker of the House and Congress had 40% approval rating?
    Not if you follow fox TV.

    December 9, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Harold

    If you want to know who is at fault. All Congress should be voted out. Sadly 53% say they want their congress person to stay. That's whats wrong in America. People are very stupid. They all need to go. Not one left behind. Can't people see what an outrageous mockery of Government they have made out of their appointment. That's the main reason we have a problem. People are just plain ignorant.

    December 9, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. macarter

    Hear Hear

    December 9, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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