Poll: Anti-incumbent feelings at all time high
March 4th, 2014
09:38 AM ET
6 months ago

Poll: Anti-incumbent feelings at all time high

Washington (CNN) - Eight months to the day before Election Day 2014, anti-incumbent sentiments are at a record high, according to a new national poll.

And an ABC News/Washington Post survey also indicates that with control of the U.S. Senate up for grabs this November, Republicans have a slight advantage over Democrats in the states holding Senate elections.

Just 22% of those questioned in the poll say they're "inclined to vote to re-elect" their representative in the U.S. House. That's down five percentage points from January, and it's the lowest level in the quarter century ABC News/Washington Post surveys have asked that question. Sixty-eight percent say they're "inclined to look around for someone else to vote for"– an all-time high.

The survey, released Tuesday, suggests that those with anti-incumbent feelings favor the Republican candidate in their congressional district by eight points, while pro-incumbents support the Democratic candidate by a 14 point margin.

Democrats need to pick up 17 GOP-held House seats to win back control of the Republican-led chamber, a feat political handicappers say is unlikely considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts.

In the battle for the Senate, the poll indicates the GOP has a 50%-42% advantage over Democrats in the 34 states holding contests this November.

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Feb. 27-March 2, with 1,002 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • Congress • House • House of Representatives • Senate
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Warren

    In the battle for the Senate, the poll indicates the GOP has a 50%-42% advantage over Democrats in the 34 states holding contests this November.

    How soon we forget....

    March 4, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    LOL – nearly everyone loves their own guy but wants to throw all the other "bums" out!

    March 4, 2014 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    "Just 22% of those questioned in the poll say they're "inclined to vote to re-elect" their representative in the U.S. House."
    -------
    And yet, 95% or more of the incumbents will be re-elected. Stupid, stupid people.

    March 4, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. Frank Castle

    In order to preserve our fragile democracy, we must:
    – purge Congress (Republican and Democrat)
    – put term limits in place
    – put an end to family dynasties
    – end the dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties and empower a third party

    The US Government has long since stopped looking out for the best interest of the country or the people. It is ALL about their Party or their own personal interests.
    2014 is an opportunity for the people to take back the country.

    March 4, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Sixty-eight percent say they're "inclined to look around for someone else to vote for"– an all-time high."

    Look where?

    March 4, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Sorry to break the news to you CNN, but my incumbent representative(Rep. Rigell-R) is on his way out the door. The Republican government shutdown is still fresh in the minds of the many government employees within Rep. Rigell's district. There will be hell to pay in November.

    March 4, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    The stronger the anti-incumbent sentiment, the better and stronger the Tea Party looks.

    March 4, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. salty dog

    Fair, agreed 100%.

    March 4, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    "Just 22% of those questioned in the poll say they're "inclined to vote to re-elect" their representative in the U.S. House."

    And yet, 95% or more of the incumbents will be re-elected. Stupid, stupid people.
    ---------------------------------------
    Careful. Didn't you vote for incumbents in 2012? I know you didn't vote for Elizabeth Warren. What about the House?

    March 4, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. ghostwriter

    I truly believe that the inability to work with folks, regardless of affiliation is rather important. 2nd only to some freakin' common sense and the ability to not simply be a partisan nutjob.

    March 4, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Frank Castle

    In order to preserve our fragile democracy, we must:
    – purge Congress (Republican and Democrat)
    – put term limits in place
    – put an end to family dynasties
    – end the dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties and empower a third party

    The US Government has long since stopped looking out for the best interest of the country or the people. It is ALL about their Party or their own personal interests.
    2014 is an opportunity for the people to take back the country.
    --------------------------
    In order to preserve a robust democracy, we must:
    – help voters to make informed choices
    – make voters aware that the ballot bos is the most efffective term limit.
    – make voters aware that "like father, like son" isn't always true in politics.
    – make campaign finance laws stronger, to reverse the recent trend to weaken them.

    As long as money is more important that the people, then politicians will always put a priority on the money.

    March 4, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I guess the GOP party of STUPID thinks they are all immune to the voters thoughts and thinks they will win in November . There will be record dem turnout and the GOP will LOSE BIG. They have NOTHING to offer and continue to HIDE Behind obamacare with nothing to offer the American people but FAILED OLD IDEAS!!!!!!!!'

    March 4, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Lynda/Minnesota

    "Sixty-eight percent say they're "inclined to look around for someone else to vote for"– an all-time high."

    Look where?
    ***************
    I can't speak for Democrats, but it would seem the GOP preference is for the most extreme whack-job flat earther they can find. Nice recipe for bringing the country together.

    March 4, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Silence DoGood

    Frank Castle
    In order to preserve our fragile democracy, we must:
    – purge Congress (Republican and Democrat)
    – put term limits in place
    – put an end to family dynasties
    – end the dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties and empower a third party

    The US Government has long since stopped looking out for the best interest of the country or the people. It is ALL about their Party or their own personal interests.
    2014 is an opportunity for the people to take back the country.
    ---------
    Vote Green Party!
    Although "take back the country" is currently code for "I am conservative parading as an independent."

    March 4, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Gurgyl

    If I can spell like Elizabeth Montgomery I would fire all GOP garbage in next elections. Make Hillary16.

    March 4, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    The Real Tom Paine
    -Lynda/Minnesota

    "Sixty-eight percent say they're "inclined to look around for someone else to vote for"– an all-time high."

    Look where?
    ***************
    I can't speak for Democrats, but it would seem the GOP preference is for the most extreme whack-job flat earther they can find. Nice recipe for bringing the country together.
    ----------

    Oh, I agree. I really wish that the distinction that the TeaPers really ARE the flat earthers would be made more often. I suspect they've spent so much time trying to focus on their "grassroots" messaging that folks buy into it and begin thinking TeaPers aren't Republicans through and through. That TeaPers are the worst of the worst gets pushed off the burner too often.

    March 4, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  17. salty dog

    Im afraid that in the disgust for the gop, tea party members will be elected, out of the frying pan, and into the fire, vote intelligently please.

    March 4, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  18. Tampa Tim

    It doesn't look like republicans are going to stop being the party of stupid. But, in their defense, they really are stupid.

    March 4, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Borderless

    Well, ya, but let's see if anyone actually does anything about it.

    March 4, 2014 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. The Real Tom Paine

    -Lynda/Minnesota

    The Real Tom Paine
    -Lynda/Minnesota

    "Sixty-eight percent say they're "inclined to look around for someone else to vote for"– an all-time high."

    Look where?
    ***************
    I can't speak for Democrats, but it would seem the GOP preference is for the most extreme whack-job flat earther they can find. Nice recipe for bringing the country together.
    ----

    Oh, I agree. I really wish that the distinction that the TeaPers really ARE the flat earthers would be made more often. I suspect they've spent so much time trying to focus on their "grassroots" messaging that folks buy into it and begin thinking TeaPers aren't Republicans through and through. That TeaPers are the worst of the worst gets pushed off the burner too often.
    *******************
    I have no problem with a message of fiscal conservatism. What I object to is all the other things the Tea party has become associated with that have nothing to do with that. What it has become is just another haven for all the disaffected people on the Right for whom the budget is just one item, and one that rarely stays at the top of the priority list. I saw a TP rally back in '09 that was nothing more than a laundry list of grievances that the extreme Right has always had, only repackaged and better financed. I don't dismiss the fiscal issues they talk about, but so many otehr things they talk about represent everything I abhor about politics in general and the Right in particular.

    March 4, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Smitty

    @Timmy, your the reason people will vote repub, geez talk about stupid, you win !!!

    March 4, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. tom l

    Hey Dutch,
    Since everyone got paid during the shutdown wasn't it just more like a paid vacation for those govt workers? What do they have to be angry about?

    March 4, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Ol' Yeller

    Obama should make an executive order which closes all the rich white precinct polls and make them go stand in line ten hours like they are making the poorer neighborhoods and then see if these voter suppression laws are still so popular.

    March 4, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. Lizzie

    Linda/MN, and yet you complain about anything and everyone, call those who don't agree with you names, but actually you don't do anything about it, how about running for office, any office to make YOUR state better.

    March 4, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Truzinski

    Tampa Tim

    It doesn't look like republicans are going to stop being the party of stupid. But, in their defense, they really are stupid.

    Sorry to burst your radical liberal bubble, but Republican WILL take the Senate.

    March 4, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
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