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:

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Bachmann will not take part in Trump debate

Paul: 'I have to expose' Gingrich

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Polls
soundoff (419 Responses)
  1. WeNEED_Term_Limits

    We need to throw them all out as they do not support the whole USA. They supoort the top 1% , lobbyist and Wealthy Contributers. It's time to take them out and get those not on the take and tell the Republican Party of Wealth who always wine and cry...."We will support your bill if you will give something to the poor poor wealthy of our country" as they own our b u t t s. The Party of Wealth always seems to be like a Viagra commercial with Boehner in their pocket trying to bend over on the US.

    December 9, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Paulie

    A new President will only be the beginning.

    December 9, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. DC Johnny

    This article is pointless. People's disdain for Congress doesn't necessarily stem from their dislike of all representatives or the process.

    Those in the majority party "dislike" Congress because their will is blocked by the minority party. Those in the minority party "dislike" Congress because, well, they disagree with the majority of the members in general and the bills constantly proposed.

    I am perfectly happy with the GOP standing up to spending and wealth redistribution. But I am dissatisfied with Congress because of the continued attempts by the majority. This doesn't mean I want everyone thrown out.

    December 9, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Ralph Petrillo

    Republicans have never been hated more. Democrats are going to win easily in the elections. Look at the republican Presidential candidates. They are all jokes. Congress majority will go to the Democrats, and then we increase taxes on the wealthy.

    December 9, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Columbus

    They may think we have no power over them, but we do, vote them out ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. jon

    Ask yourself this question, do you want to help the rich get richer? Or do you want to help the middle class and poor get back on their feet so we can have a stronger economy for everyone?

    Helping the middle class and poor be strong again will also help the rich get richer by strengthening the economy.


    December 9, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Paulie

    Rudy: We lost 2 million jobs in 2009 but once Obama was elected we lost 8 million more!

    December 9, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. TheBigT

    Term limits are a MUST for congress.
    Throw them all out including the current president.
    And make sure the next president DOES NOT COME FROM OUR CURRENT CONGRESS.

    December 9, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. Paulie

    No re-elections for anyone!

    December 9, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Mary

    Every single one of them are crooks and thieves. They are there to get whatEVER they can from the system. They sell out to the highest bidder and that's usually the big corporations/banks and help them send all of our jobs overseas. I'm sick of the fighting back and forth across the isle. It doesn't matter what Obama suggests, they fight against him. If there was a republican in the president's seat, it'd be the same way, the democrats would oppose every suggestion and idea he had. While they are all sitting in Washington playing "if you don't do it my way, I'll take my ball and go home", we Americans, lower, middle class and the well to do are all suffering and our great United States of America is going down the tubes and looking more like a third world country that ever before. I fear for my grandchildren....they have nothing to look forward too.

    December 9, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. drc

    Vote them all out, including the clown in chief.

    December 9, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. George

    Now we just need to follow through with this sentiment when we vote in 11 months. Most likely, this move will turn to apathy and the same representatives will return to milk us for another 2-6 years. Please surprise me and vote for change. Obama did not produce the change that I had hoped, but I am an eternal optimist.

    December 9, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. Dan

    If you fix redistricting / gerrymandering, you might actually start getting centrist politicians. But the reality is that we live in a segregated society... so we get divided politics. Other places – like Germany – have some state-based representation in the upper house, but the lower house is party / proportional. Either way, you get a coalition that needs to govern, or they get booted out.

    December 9, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  14. Matt

    Threw them out, I agree. But replace with what? The problem in most elections is do you vote for tweetle dee or tweetle dumb? Both parties are way out of touch with reality and everyone should be fed up with both sides. It is time for indepent candidates to be seriously considered. Maybe a third party will emerge that will only place middle class people as their candidates, have common sense and don't have a get rich agenda. Sign me up for that movement when it starts.

    December 9, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Jamie

    Put people into office who can fight the morons the Tea Party sent to Washington.

    December 9, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Rod Planter

    Ralph: take a look at the November 2010 election results and then picture an even worse beating for democrats in 2012. People realize now what a wrecking ball Obama and his administration are to our country, jobs and the economy. In fact the only reason I see hiring as improving slightly recently is the fact that Obama may soon be out of office!

    December 9, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  17. ed

    We'll see how many of those 76% actually vote that way!

    December 9, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  18. Kevin

    seemingly wat gallup and cnn have demonstrated here is a psychological phenomena called the above average effect. The american ppl understand the realistic truth that the entire system is broken but if asked to rate contribution from their own congressman they choose to take the illusory position that their own congressmen are the "bees knees". Such contrasting delusion in this political climate will leave the american ppl with much bark and no bite and the same dysfunctional group of individual responsible for this gridlock in power.

    December 9, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Busted

    Fifty-three percent say their own representative deserves to be re-elected – And for that, the American people are to blame for the mess our country is in.

    December 9, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Bump in the Road

    As Fred Sanford once told the Dummy, when Dummy told him "something doesn't smell right around here," "if you think something stinks around here, you better wash your mustache." The voters need to clear and clean out the fridge because there's a foul odor coming out of Washington DC.

    December 9, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. BinVA

    As much as my heart and emotions agree with this positions my (gray-haired) head knows that 1) people will re-elect a rep/sen if (s)he "brings home the bacon" and 2) if you load up Congress with a bunch of amateurs they will make this Congress look like a well-oiled machine. My disgust for Congress is matched only by my disgust for the ovine nature of the American public. I neither expect nor want everyone to agree with me but I would like to hear rational discussions of the issues ratyehr than the sectarian name-calling that currently passes for political discourse.

    December 9, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit pointed out:

    "Dismantled the Tea Party is."

    I hate to tell ya, Rudy, but given the fact that the Teatrolls are just the resurrection of the Know-Nothings, Birchers, etc., given a new brand name and sent marching around with the essentially same ideology and nutjob demands that they come up with every time something about Amurika changes enough to wake them up again...
    I agree. Dismantled, only to be re-assembled as something else.

    December 9, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. AmericanSam

    Republicans get in and sabotage everything, then government is dysfunctional. Government is dysfunctional, and nothing gets accomplished. Nothing gets accomplished, and people get mad. People get mad, so they look to politicians who want to get rid of most government. They look to people who want to get rid of most government, and they see Republicans.

    This is how Republicans win.

    December 9, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. George

    You know, they have a poll like this before every election cycle and it always says similar things, yet people keep voting to re-elect their OWN representative and give a collective thumbs down to Congress as a whole. So, what is the solution? There is none. There may be some shifting of power one way or the other, but in the big picture, not much will change until we demand that it does and make everyone accountable to us when they keep voting this way, straight down party lines and screaming at each other. Until then, it's just going to be more of the same sniping and demonizing that permeates the system currently.

    December 9, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Reddog9500

    In their rabid attempts to do whatever they could to make Obama a one term President, by refusing to compromise on any issue that is of importance to the American people, they have forgotten who they work for......us. Our elected officials have let us down by being a do-nothing Congress, that I for one have no intention of rewarding with re-election. "Throw the bums out!"

    December 9, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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