The message from the new CNN poll out today couldn’t be more clear: if you’re an incumbent politician in America these days, you’d better shape up or you’ll be shipped out by angry voters. As in other polls, respondents in the CNN survey continue to support removing incumbents from Congress. But for the first time in a long time, their own representative wasn’t shielded from the throw the bums out mentality.
Neither was President Obama. As Greg Sargent pointed out this afternoon, 52% of respondents the poll said Obama does not deserve to be reelected. Only 44% say he Obama deserves a second term.It’s a little early for the White House to get worried by that result — Obama still has years to prove to the electorate he can be the president he promised he would be on the trail in 2008. But on a larger level, the number is indicative of the frustration toward incumbents that promises to be a central storyline of 2010.
In most polls about Congress, Americans are dissatisfied with the organization as a whole. But when it comes to their own representatives, respondents are generally approving. But when asked by CNN whether their own representative deserves another term in the new poll, registered voters were split — 51% said their member of Congress deserves another term, while 48% said they were either opposed to or unsure about reelecting their representatives to Congress this year.
That’s the lowest support for reelection recorded in the CNN poll since at least Oct. 2006, when 57% of respondents to the CNN poll said their member should be reelected. That was just a month before voters ended Republican control of the Congress and handed the reins over to the Democrats. This time, the Democrats are the ones in charge, and the frustration at incumbents is even higher.