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65% Favor Getting Rid of Entire Congress and Starting Over

Let's face it: Most Americans don't have much use for either of the major political parties and think it would be better to dump the entire Congress on Election Day.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters say if they had the option next week, they would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start all over again. Only 20% would opt to keep the entire Congress instead. Fifteen percent (15%) aren't sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.

Of course, the Political Class strongly disagrees.  While 84% of Mainstream voters would opt to get rid of the entire Congress, 64% of the Political Class would vote instead to keep them all.

Not surprisingly, 82% of Republicans and 78% of unaffiliateds say dump them all. Despite their party's control of both the House and Senate, Democratic voters are fairly evenly divided: 44% say it's better to keep the entire Congress, but 38% would prefer to give all the national legislators the heave-ho.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of all voters have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party after its two years of controlling both the White House and Congress. But 53% view the Democrats unfavorably.

As for the party out of power but knocking on the door, just 29% view Republicans favorably, while 54% hold an unfavorable opinion of them.

Only 61% of Republicans offer a favorable opinion of the GOP, a figure perhaps reflective of the fact that most Republican voters believe their party leaders are out of touch with the base.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Democrats have a favorable opinion of their party.

Among all voters, just three percent (3%) have a favorable opinion of both parties, while 18% view both unfavorably. Seventy-nine percent (79%) offer mixed reviews.

Twenty percent (20%) of voters nationwide now say they are members of the Tea Party, with another 10% who say they aren't members but have friends or family members who are. Sixty-one percent (61%) say they have no ties to the grass roots movement. This is comparable to findings earlier in the month

Perhaps it's no surprise that 88% of Tea Party members would choose to dump the entire Congress, but 57% of non-members agree with them.

Ninety-one percent (91%) of Tea Party members view the Democratic Party unfavorably, but only 56% hold a favorable opinion of the GOP.

A majority of voters not affiliated with either major party have an unfavorable opinion of both Democrats and Republicans.

Just 12% of all voters nationwide now think Congress is doing a good or excellent job.  Sixty-one percent (61%) rate their performance as poor.

The number of voters who view Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Very Unfavorably have reached their highest levels yet.

Sixty-two percent (62%) feel it would be better for the country if most congressional incumbents were defeated next week.  Just 27% think their representative in Congress is the best possible person for the job, and only 37% think their local congressional representative deserves reelection.

Most voters think their representative in Congress does not deserve reelection if he or she voted for the national health care law, the auto bailouts or the $787-billion economic stimulus plan.

After all, 62% believe that no matter how bad things are, Congress can always make them worse.

Voters remain closely divided over whether a randomly selected sample of people from the phone book could do a better job than their elected representatives in Congress.


Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 26-27, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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