Poll: Voters want to throw 'em out
December 9th, 2011
11:54 AM ET
8 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. mike58

    Starting with the President

    December 9, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. dahlangston

    I do not understand why progressives choose to argue with conservatives. They present simplistic answers based on race and emotion to very complex arguments. Its like arguing with a prehistoric cave people. Time and society has passed them by. Save your energy for helping the disadvantaged, improving the life of others and your family or something of that nature. They are a complete waste of time.

    December 9, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. dc

    Yes Congress we are saying you have failed the American people miserably and we do not want you representing us anymore, you will not be elected and we will overcome what you have not done.

    December 9, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Duh!

    This is about accountability. They have done little or nothing constructive in the last two years, and have spent us down the toilet. They need to go yesterday!

    December 9, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. RE McKay

    They all need to go. Terms limits. One Term. And ... no lawyers, or those educated in law, permitted to serve in Congress or the Senate.

    December 9, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Mary

    At the rate the Republicans are going, if we don't get them out.. And we end up stupidly voting in more of them.. Or worse one of the idiots running for president.. By next election I think we can basically be sure, there won't be one. By then we will have the Republicans declare King-ship...No more voting...."long live our new King"....
    Republican agenda is frightening and since they work for the 1% I don't think we are as afraid as we should be.. And that scares me..~!!
    They already kneel at the feet of one man.. And that alone should tell us all we need to know... They must go~!!!!

    December 9, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Chauncey

    I don't even care about Republican/Democrat at this point. I think they should all be voted out and start fresh, regardless of party affiliation.

    December 9, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. snoopy13

    I wrote something similar to the following a few weeks ago in response to what we should do to the, so called, Super Committee, which failed miserably.

    I agree that all, if not most, of our elected officials (Senate and House) should be replaced. However, I don't think that will be a solution to our problems. Independent of the party of the President, if the majority of the Senate and House of Reps is split, as it is now – House has a Repub majority and the Senate a Dem majority – I don't believe anything major will ever get accomplished. The Repubs will vote the same, as will the Dems. I just don't see any bipartisanship occurring. A split House and Senate will never agree on any major issue and will always blame the other Party for not negotiating and arriving at a solution. Who loses? Us the citizenry, of course.

    Bottom line: I think we need some other form of government whose organization will get something accomplished, or these folks will lose their jobs, even before the end of any term of office.

    December 9, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Jimbo

    They don't really care, they will still pull a paycheck from our tax money for the rest of their lives.

    December 9, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Doug

    Everybody wants wants to vote out congress for doing such a bad job...BUT...not MY representatives.....Kind of like, we need to build more prisons or more garbage dumps but not near me!! People need to realize that yes THEIR representative is as much a part of the problem as the next guys!!

    December 9, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    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?
    Do you include the reduced revenue from the nearly 2 million jobs we lost during FY2009? Did you include the cost of the wars that Bush was paying for off the books with Social Security funds?

    Did you forget that Obama had one expenditures in the form of bailouts and stimulus packages, too? Do you really mean that or are you simply misinformed?

    December 9, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Kick Them All Out

    Only 75% and 68%? Are the rest asleep? It's time to reboot the entire Congress.

    December 9, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. AL In Palm Beach County, FL

    I know I want mine gone...


    Yup, you teapublican must GO..I'm counting the days until your name come up.

    December 9, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. captndan

    This 76% is the voice of the people. 'Occupy' is the voice of the people. Blogs like this are the voice of the people. Congress is so strung out on Prozac it can't hear the voices of the people. 'Occupy' is now a world wide venture. I have never heard Congress say anything about 'Occupy'. Can't see the forest for the trees huh? If you don't vote your feelings you are nothing but a cheap weenie.

    December 9, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. john

    I think they should all be out, if everyone knew what kind of perks they get(insider trading and more),they would not vote them back into office. IT IS TIME FOR AMERICANS to take back our COUNTRY. I think , I think it was FDR that said when Corporations control every aspect of your lives you no longer live in a democracy. WE THE PEOPLE need to remember that. Democrat or Republican, they work for WE THE PEOPLE. If we sit and allow what they do, we deserve what we are given.

    December 9, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. MikenewOccupy

    They all need to go to the private sector where they belong. I am sick of them all. This is one reason why I support the Occupy movement – our elected officals make me super SICK!!!

    December 9, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. kali

    The American public should not blame the politicians for doing what the people want!!!! If compromise and understanding were important to the public, why would they vote so many so-called TEA PARTY republicans into office? Tea Partiers ran on the notion that they would not compromise! This is exactly what the public voted for and should have known would happen.

    December 9, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. kinglywarrior

    If we don't hold them accountable and show them that there are REAL consequences for inaction, they will continue to say that "This is what the American People want". Let's show them what we want, which is them, OUT.

    December 9, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. MacDav

    In 2010 we cleaned up the House of reps,in 2012 we will clean up the senete and the presidency.Bye comrade obama

    December 9, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Concerned in Cleveland

    One and Done. Send the squatters home. Make them live in the world they make with the rest of us.

    December 9, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Bozzz

    Don't blame congress, they are merely reflecting the state of our society. None of you would do any better, and if you're honest you'd admit it. The system is flawed and the people of this country are divided, andn that's the problem. We could solve this problem if people respected those with different opinions, and if the political system was set up in a way that furthered unity, not fighting to make the other side look bad. Don't believe me? Take a look at congress after the 2012 elections–it won't be better unless the people of this country change first.

    December 9, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Robertn

    The poll shows status quo. Until it shows that were all willing to throw out our congressman, nothing will change, because congress can count on our support to get re-elected since were only un-happy with all the other congressmen, according to the poll

    December 9, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Kris

    I'm all for "throwing the bums out"; however, we should be doing this on a regular basis anyway. It shouldn't be something we do just to have something to do and pretend it's going to change things – because it won't. The economic recovery (and the job recovery associated with it) is going to happen on its own timeline regardless of what the politicians say or do. Didn't we just throw the bums out at the last couple of major elections? How has that benefited you? So let's throw out the bums who lie, cheat, steal, and commit other dubious acts, but let's not do it just to do it and potentially make matters worse.

    December 9, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. BeverlyNC

    I want to throw out ALL the REPUBLICANS. They are the ones who have obstructed EVERY single JOBS bill, economic recovery program and now want to raise taxes on the middle class while refusing to make millionaires and billionaires just pay their taxes at all. Republicans are the ones LYING, spreading HATE of the poor, minorities, and working people. If the Democrats had the 60 in the Senate and the Majority back in the House – America would be moving forward with all kinds of bills for the PEOPLE. Presdient Obama has had great success in everything he has done when he did not have to deal with the Party of NO, LIES, and BETRAYAL of the PEOPLE. Just think what all we could accomplish with NO Republicans bliociking everything and no corporate dictatorships Republicans put ahead of what is best for US.

    December 9, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. BobD

    Nice story – but I do not believe that the Democrats in California would put Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer of out of their jobs. They will vote Democrat just because. When the Republicans can come up with an extraordinary candidate, and I don't see one in the picture, then and only then will DiFi and Madam Boxer get sent packing. Same goes with the House. Democrats could nominate a homeless person and then vote for him. They do not know the issues and vote party. Simple as that.

    December 9, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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