Gallup Poll Shows Unprecedented Opposition to Incumbents

Republicans will blame Democrats. Democrats will point their fingers at Republicans. Whoever is at fault, incumbents are set up to lose big in November’s mid-term elections – maybe.

A new Gallup shows that only 28 percent think members of Congress deserve to be re-elected. Conversely, 65 percent of registered voters want to see current members of Congress back next year.

Gallup April 8, 2010

Gallup April 8, 2010

What most pundits and political wonks see when they read these polls is that Democrats are going to be swept out of power in November, but I’m not so convinced. I actually think that it’s the GOP who will take a beating this mid-term, despite the conventional wisdom that the party in power usually loses in these off-year elections.

For starters, these poll results have never been seen before. Look at 1994 poll results when the GOP took over Congress with its “Contract for America.” The numbers don’t look at all like they do today. Now look at the stats on what Republican voters are saying in 2010.

Gallup April 8, 2010

Gallup April 8, 2010

That’s 83 percent of Republicans who want to send members of Congress home.

The numbers look better for incumbents when voters are asked if they want to see their individual member re-elected. Forty-eight percent of Republican voters want to re-elect their legislator. Fifty-eight percent of Democratic voters say they’ll re-elect their representative.

Gallup said this poll shows that Democrats are going to get beat-up in the voting booth this November, but I read it differently. I see the GOP as a fractured party with moderates unsure what to make of the Tea Partiers, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. This confusion, I think, will result in voter turnout among Republicans being down this year, while Democrats will come out strong and re-elect their legislators who delivered on health care reform, and possibly financial regulatory reform. The unknown is how the economy will be doing in November.

Read the Gullup poll results and decide for yourself.

Or check Ezra Klein’s take on a different set of graphs and numbers that will play into this year’s elections.

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