November 11th, 2009
05:57 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Anti-incumbent sentiment strong

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A new poll suggests that Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats about voting in next year's midterm elections."]
Washington (CNN) - When it comes to Congress, a 'throw the bums out' attitude appears to be alive and well.

According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 52 percent of registered voters would like to see their own member of the House of Representatives re-elected next year, while just over one in three say that most members of Congress should be returned to office. Both numbers come close to the all-time lows seen just prior to the 1994 election, when the Republicans won control of Congress, and the 2006 contest, when the Democrats returned to power in both chambers.

The survey indicates that only 42 percent of independent voters want to see their own representative re-elected in 2010, and just one in four independents think most members of Congress should be returned to office.

The poll suggests that Republicans are more enthusiastic than Democrats. Fifty-eight percent of people who say they plan to vote for Republican in next year's elections say they are very enthusiastic about voting. That's 16 points higher than the 42 percent of people of plan to vote for a Democrat who describe themselves as enthusiastic.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released last week also indicated that Republicans are more energized right now than Democrats.

"The party that is out of power usually gets to play on offense, while the party in power is essentially playing defense," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Playing offense gets your team pumped up. Maybe the same psychology is at work on the political playing field this year."

Next November, all 435 seats in the House and more than a third of the Senate seats are up for grabs. Democrats currently hold a 258-177 advantage in the House, and a 20-seat margin in the Senate.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted October 28-November 8, with 1,644 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Democrats • Extra • GOP • Poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Marion

    Asking a poll question about elections that are a year away is like asking someone what they want for dinner a month from now. They might give you an answer, but whether they'll actually stick with that choice is anybody's guess.

    Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of these polls. It's as if the media has airtime and Web space to fill, so they have to come up with something–anything–that they can publish.

    I have a suggestion. Why not run a poll to see who will win the 2020 presidential election?

    November 11, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. Reaganomics Leads To Feudalism

    Mark my words...

    A vote for a Republican in 2010 will be a vote for our President's impeachment and possible removal from office.

    Is THIS what you people really want?

    November 11, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  3. Steve

    VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They no longer represent us!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  4. shovelhead

    Well it's about time people in this country are pulling their heads out of their butts and seeing these Dims for what they truly are.

    November 11, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  5. dharc

    Here in Nevada,Harry Reid is already behind double digits behind Sue Lowden. We will run to vote him out in 12 months. He's known for dirty real estate deals,dirty back door dealing in the Senate and bringing illegal aliens to work for the casino operators here in Las Vegas.Corzine spent 130 million dollars and still lost. Goodbye Harry... Also Lou Dobbs is a gentleman and I wish him well. I will no longer watch CNN.

    November 11, 2009 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  6. jamesvw

    Learn more about the special elections coming up in the next few months at

    November 11, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. Mark

    You never heard the media talk about how low the democrat ran congress approval ratings where.

    November 11, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. Don From Philly

    Any one up for re-election get rid of them: Let’s start 2010 with all new Democrats and Republicans and let them work together so our kids and grand kids have a good life.

    November 11, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. One and Done

    One and Done
    Four and the Door
    No mosi Pelosi
    No feed for Mr Reid
    In the tank for Barney Frank
    It's the Poseidon for Biden

    bye bye democraps – oh yes we can

    November 11, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
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