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. snarks

    Imagine a congress full of nothing but conservatives. No liberals. My god this nation would become number 1 again, it would heal so quickly, and everybody would prosper. Liberalism is a mental disorder, and all liberals should be sent to north korea since they desire pure socialism.; ignorant neanderthals at best.

    December 9, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Jack

    No TEA for me!

    December 9, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Cruzn4aBruzn

    Our gov't needs fundamental changes beyond who we send to DC. The last census records our population as somewhere in the neighborhood of 309 million. The States have a total of 435 represenatives in DC. That is roughly 710 thousand people that these 435 reps speak for. How in the world is this a representative government? Sure, I know the reps are apportioned by their populace but how much weight does a voice of a rep from Wyoming have when over someone from NY or CA or PA? The rep from my district in Washington State is about as visible as Pluto. I didn't vote for him so I didn't expect much, and not surprisingly haven't received much either. All the issues thrown around as the most important, ie. jobs, immigration, economy, etc. are overshadowing what I believe should be of the most concern...the moral decline of America. When our country falls, and it will, it will be due to the moral depravity running rampant in the land. The blame won't be either Democrat or Republican but America's.

    December 9, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. borysd

    There is not much hope!....both parties serve the same masters!

    December 9, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. James

    Ron Paul will fix Government. Vote Ron Paul 2012 to restore America back to its glory.

    December 9, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. syrik

    FIre your congressman/woman today. Don't wait for election day, demand a recall vote. Do it today. We can't wait another year.

    December 9, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Rudy

    You guys really need to study you history, CHECKS AND BALANCES were made to protect us from TYRANNY, If the Dems Control all three branches that would equate to a Dictatorship... by having the power divided it keeps us safe from some radical laws being passed....yes Checks and Balances slow down positive change,but it is a double edged sword, it can also protect us from negative change, which without the checks of power would be implanted on a country wide scale, which could result in another Adolf Hitler,Mussolini or Napoleon. .

    December 9, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Funniest and Most Ironic Comment of the Day

    "Come november 2012, the Democrats and Dinosaurs will have a lot in common!" – Quoted from a Republican on CNN

    Today's funniest and most ironic comment of the day award goes to poster "Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS" for unwittingly conceding that he has no idea what's going on in politics.

    December 9, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Walter

    I highly doubt this frustration doesn't extend to the White House.

    December 9, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Former Republican

    I agree with "we hang togather or Die Separatly."This my first posting and it's nice to see so many Americans like me angry with (R) congress.

    But it is time we take action, it is time that we educate ourselves on what is going on and for some of us give up this mind set that our country can only thrive off of a hands off government on capitalism. I watch republican voters call democrats Socialist/communist when them theirself are negatively effected by the decisions made by (R) congress. I once was a republican but, then I became wise. I encourage all republicians to rethink your congressman maybe you will see the light just like me.

    December 9, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  11. DMS

    Start with Republicans and throw them all out. The 2010 class of Republicans were voted into office on the job creation platform. I have yet to hear one talk about jobs or push a jobs bill. They're catering to the Tea Party idiots, Grover Norquist, and Donald Trump. There you have it folks. These idiots care more about their special interests than the people that they used to get themselves elected.

    December 9, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    Its unfortunate that all the GOP candidates have to do is say government is is evil, that business is being shackled by these horrible regualtions, and the drooling, screaming mob that prays to FOX every day votes them in without even using a smidge of common sense. For example, if you cut your revenue and spend more on your favorite things, can you balance your checkbook? The answer is no. In spite of that, for 2 generations, legions of GOP voters have somehow fallen for these insane scenarios which have resulted in bankruptcy at every level of government, and they can't see they are responsible for it. They have operated on a false premise that even Reagan realized was unworkable, yet they continue to cherry-pick their facts to create a reality that does not, and has never existed.

    December 9, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. dgalbers


    Everyone vote out your Congressman and Senator in a show of anger, frustration, unity, and reform.

    I will vote to re-elect my Congressman and Senator and thereby go to the head of the line because my Congressman and Senator will have the most seniority.

    Americans are FOOLS!

    December 9, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. ethandy

    The biggest winners in all this divisiveness? Scroll to the red banner at the top of this page. And the Fox page. And the MSNBC page and...

    December 9, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Craig from Pa.

    Boehner most certainly needs to go, and over in the Senate,.. Mitch McConnell is the biggest turd in the bowl and definitely needs to be flushed out of there....

    December 9, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Mel

    Yes, I can't wait to VOTE these useless elected politicians (both Republicans and Democrats) out of office. What a joke that we continue to pay their salaries for doing nothing in office. One of the worst CONGRESS in the history of the USA...guilty of insider trading, lack of concern for the American public, continue to side with the rich, outsourcing, soft on China... and the list goes on. The world is seeing the dumb side of America when these politicians can't agree on anything and serve ONLY their self interests. Our patience has run out...

    December 9, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Fairplay99

    To see is to believe. The same old story will probably prevail, which is the voters will re-elect their Senators and Representatives.

    December 9, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. DMS

    Paulie, how many jobs did we lose in the 8 years that Bush was in office? Or the 6 years Republicans controlled all three branches of government. If you're going to give stats, at least provide both sides.

    December 9, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Keith

    Get to the root causes of the delay in congress..all is being done to see to it that whatever this president does will not be accepted. Take away congressional salaries. They make enough in commissions.

    December 9, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Joe

    REELECT NO ONE!!!! Even when an office holder represents a party that I more or less agree with I will vote them out. Ideology means NOTHING ..working with the other side to craft reasonable compromise means EVERYTHING. This current crop of clowns cannot work together. THROW them ALL OUT!!!!!. I indent to look at the names on the ballot and regardless of party affiliation I will vote against anyone currently holding office. They need an absolute EARTHQUAKE of voter furry to wake them up!

    December 9, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Rob

    Of course, these same people want to leave their OWN officials in office, so as usual nothing will change. Boot all of the losers, not just the "other" people's officials!

    December 9, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. MeanOldMan

    If you are a republican which is in the minority this "Throw them all out" message is just great cause the odds are you will gain seats. If you are a democrat, or whatever party is in the majority then its a bad idea. The problem is the two party system where we only have a choice between one extreme or the other. We need to get the money out of our politics and make it easier for parties other than Dems or Reps to compete on a level field. Till then nothing will change.

    December 9, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Jeff

    As the Founding Fathers so intended, Politicians serve their country and go back to their private lives. We must get term limits in place so we no longer have "Career Politicians" It is these folks that are the most corrupt. It is not a Democrat or Republican issue any more.

    December 9, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Hark

    90% of the people commenting on this blog are idiots... They all want things cleaned up as long as they don't sacrifice anything. I hope the Tea Party takes over and really cleans the swamp. Your all a bunch of crybabies! Wake up and figure it out!

    December 9, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. gary

    Filibuster = waste time on purpose. They can't even pretend to attack deficit. They fix nothing, do nothing. All of congress OUT!

    December 9, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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