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A 20-point tilt toward the challengers

The new Washington Post-ABC News poll found the public in a decidedly anti-incumbent mood, the likes of which has not been seen since the early-1990s.

Six times in Post-ABC polling - including the most recent poll - the share of registered voters who say they are "inclined to look around for someone else to vote for" has outnumbered by 20 points or more the share who say they are more apt to re-elect their representative in Congress. With the exception of the current result, all of these instances occurred before the 1994 Republican takeover.

Q. Thinking about politics: Right now, are you inclined to vote to re-elect your representative in Congress in the next election or are you inclined to look around for someone else to vote for?

              Re-elect   Look around   Diff
4/25/10  RV      32          57         -25
10/21/91 RV      32          56         -24
10/23/94 RV      34          58         -24
3/27/94  RV      34          55         -21
4/9/92   RV      35          56         -21
3/18/92  RV      36          56         -20

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  April 28, 2010; 9:23 AM ET
Categories:  Congress , Post Polls  
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Comments

Of course, voting out one idiot and electing another doesn't advance anything. Is it meaningful if people dislike the incumbent, but also don't trust the challenger? It's easy to condemn the status quo when one doesn't know the options....

Posted by: josh13 | April 28, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Why would anyone want to simply repeat history by keeping his representative in office if he/she doesn't follow the will of those that voted them into office.It should be quite simple"Follow the directives of the people"honor the oath of office rather than follow the pack & line your personal nest with perks.Also why do elected representatives receive lifetime pension for just a single term in office plus an elit Insurance that is not available to the public also for life?

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Posted by: jordaner004 | April 28, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Today's challengers will become tomorrow's incumbents! The problem is not the fact that "all incumbents" are bad...it defies logic. The problem is that politicians, like salespeople, have figured out that the majority of the voters are ill-informed. Consequently, politicians simply sale recycled "lies" to their audiences based on their internal polling results for each target audience. How is it possible that politicians can offer multiple views on the same issues to multiple audiences each election cycle and get away with it. Take Romney for instance on the issue of abortion (changed multiple times) and his view now on the healthcare legislation that he first championed as governor of MA before he discovered that it is very unpopular with his rebublican primary base. Now, think about the situation with President Obama, who is now doing exactly what he told the electorate during the campaign...and is becoming deserted by the very same people who cheered and voted for him en mass. The very essence of polling is premised on the fact that people are rarely true to a set of political, economic, and/or social views. Dwell on healthcare for a minute...how can any rational-thinking and reasonable person buy the allegations against the legislation made by the republicans (government takeover of one-sixth of the economy and that Obama-Pelosi-Reed healthcare legislation will cut medicare)and not figured out the ironyin it...medicare is offered and operated by the same governemtnt they distrust. We have ourselves to blame!

Posted by: leoakuj | April 28, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

It is a Republican victory of sorts and a defeat for the Nation. First you claim that "government is the problem" and then you let Wall Street run amok for the second time in a 100 years with catastrophic results.

Then you run up the national debt to record levels a second time and blame the democrats.

Then you cry about the deficit and you tag the incumbent democrats with the blame.

I hope that the voting public won't go for it but I am older and wiser now. They voted for Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush didn't they? If they vote to expand Republican power in the face of the past 10-years then I have to accept the fact that America is in decline.

Posted by: explorers100 | April 28, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

It still revolves around money. All Incumbants will take money from large national organizations,use their experts to run,depend on the lobbyists to feed their PACs and the party of choice to approve them. They will all vote like sheep and and will take any position they are told. This is our government and to play you must follow the rules. it is a myth that we are choosing independent people. At the last election most congresspeople had less the 20% of their funds from their district,most was from back East from big professional companies. Dream on folks.

Posted by: ephetsgma | April 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Voting out incumbents may not realistically result in having more diligent representatives in Congress, but it does send a much needed message that the people still control America. If we don't like you, your policies or your betrayals, we will vote you out. That's a great message for this administration and its cronies. There's nothing worse than a president coming in and making a thousand promises, none of which he has kept. Voter retribution is coming in November and 2012.

Posted by: samwoods77 | April 30, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey - maintaining a democratic republic is a daily job, not just on election day. The process can only be improved by more good people getting active at all levels.

Negative feelings will diminish if you get involved!

It's never too late to plug in where you live and help bring better candidates before the voters; then help those candiates win; then "hold their feet to the fire."

Get informed, get involved, blog, volunteer on a campaign, write stories for your hometown paper, run for office! Run a voter registration drive, just do it!

Posted by: launchloan | May 4, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

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