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. k

    lol...everyone wants change as long as it is someone else changing. Kick out congress but keep our guy there...


    December 9, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Jennifer

    I'm happily going to vote for the Dems in my area, I've had enough of the Republicans lying to us, lying to our faces at town halls... When I confronted our congressmen with his voting record he called me a marxist, the hall went quiet. I'm one of the biggest business owners in my county, and I can honestly say that Obama actually helped me grow my business.

    December 9, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. theshark

    I say get them all out there and start with some fresh blood. These good old boys have had enough control. They only work for themselves. So lets get some new people in there.

    December 9, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Mike

    But unless they're defeated by independents or third-party candidates, it's essentially the same thing over and over.

    December 9, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. us1776

    We're going to start with all the Norquist-pledge signers and work out from there.


    December 9, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. PulTab

    The problem is that people think all the members of congress suck,,,,,,,,, except the ones that represent them. That is why congress is full of career politicians. Vote your own reps out and lets get a fresh start.

    December 9, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    There should not be another election in this country until all private funding of election campaigns is outlawed.

    December 9, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Is taht what we need to overcome...common sense expert economic advice that threatens to undermine a century of conservative ideology?
    No Sniffitt, you're giving these low-brows too much credit. That's not the "overcoming" they were referring to. They were referring tothe same "overcoming" that the Teatards reference in their "Taking Our Country Back" placards and posters.
    Very simplistic thought process going on here with these folks. Nothing as deep as getting the economy back on track based on edjumacated eggspert assvice.

    December 9, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Leslie

    With a Congress and Senate like these, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES from another country?!!!!!

    December 9, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |

    Congress needs to be paid like the rest of the Feds with retirement based on length of service, no automatic raises, ethics rules that make sense, and yes, term limits with no lobbying within 10 years of their term. The perks for our lawmakers dwarf executives on wall street at the expense of the taxpayer. Shame on all past and present lawmakers who have voted to make it this way. You are not patriots, you are scammers!

    December 9, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. gary

    I think instead of just yelling throw them out, take the time you have to meet with your congressman when they are in your area. Ask them probing questions, then do the same thing for whom ever is running against them. Make an honest educated decision instead of waiting until the last second and making a "guess" at the polls.

    December 9, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. sarah

    If people think congress must go but they won't vote their own representative out, then nothing changes.

    December 9, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Dave

    Set aside politics! Just use a common sense!

    December 9, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Oldie in TampaBay

    I couldn't AGREE MORE! Throw em all out! & the new ones TERM LIMITS FOR ALL!

    December 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. anonymous

    hey "Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS" the moron first class.. capitalists and bush are responsible for bankrupting this country , NOT THE DEMOCRATS , do no use big words like " socialism" when you and your likes do not even have an iota of intellectual capability to understand what the word actually mean.. so shut the hell up

    December 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. unsub

    keep obama and away with boehner and friends!

    December 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Kari

    I guess I'm rather unique. I want my Representative and both Senators thrown out. They are embarrassing! However, only the fool in the House is up for election in 2012. Rats!

    December 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Bill

    Goodbye tea-baggers. Your day has come and gone.

    December 9, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. Jennifer M. Gratunlpomlisky

    It is now time for the American people to demand that Eric Holder be arrested and the ATF and DOJ be dismantled and replaced by the FBI and a Citizens Oversight Committee.

    December 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. voiceofreason

    I tend to " walk the fence" and evaluate based on common sense.

    ALL in Congress needs to go and we need to demand accountability for thier actions!

    December 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. jason

    Um didn't voters vote these clowns in? Not happy with your decision? We live in a country of whiners.

    December 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. ib42

    In a nation of intelligent people, there would be no (p)rick, bleachhwoman, goingrich, broomney, cain't, nor any sign of republicans.

    December 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "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...they're not going anywhere really. They might lay dormant again for a while, but they'll be back eventually, demanding all over again various ways of destroying the federal gov't that prohibits them from discriminating, keeps religion out of gov't, and forces them to contribute to the general public welfare through taxation. There's always a place at the table for crazy, and crazy is ALWAYS hungry.

    December 9, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. M-W-T

    We need a movement to END Mike Pence's bid for re-election.
    This guy wants to be Governor of Indiana, and then run for POTUS
    mike pence would be the baddest thing for the country.
    People hate him here in the 6th district
    AMERICA.......PLEASE remember this awful man when it cames time to vote.


    December 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. demogoat

    If I vote "Present" can I still complain?

    December 9, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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