If American voters only had the following two choices on the Congressional ballot -- keep all current lawmakers in office, or get rid of all incumbents in Congress -- what would they do?
A new Fox News poll asked that question, and the answer could be bad news for incumbents this fall.
Sixty-eight percent of voters would oust all incumbents, while 20 percent would keep all lawmakers in office.
Even 52 percent of Democrats, whose party controls both houses of Congress, would get rid of all incumbents. Thirty-two percent would keep them.
Most Republicans (79 percent) and independents (78 percent) would vote to get rid of all incumbents.
This “throw them out” sentiment reflects what the poll also found about voters’ perception of Congress: just 18 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, while 76 percent disapprove.
Moreover, 17 percent think Congress cares what the American people want, compared to the large 79 percent majority who think Congress does whatever it wants to do.
In response to the traditional generic ballot question, if the election were held today, 42 percent of American voters say they would back the Republican candidate in their district and 38 percent the Democratic candidate.
A higher number of Republicans (89 percent) would back their party’s candidate than Democrats would support theirs (81 percent). By 33 percent to 25 percent, more independents say they would back the Republican candidate, with the remaining 42 percent saying they would vote for another candidate or are unsure.
The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from March 16 to March 17. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Obama Factor
Voters who approve of President Obama’s job performance favor the Democratic House candidate by 69 percent to 13 percent, while those who disapprove back the Republican by 72 percent to 11 percent.
Among those favoring the health care reform bill, 75 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Those opposed to the reforms largely favor the Republican in their district (66 percent).
In addition, by a slim 2 percentage point margin, more voters say they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes President Obama on key issues (31 percent) than for one who supports Obama (29 percent). The largest number -- 39 percent -- says Obama will not be a major factor in their vote for Congress this year.