2/8: Voters Divide Over 2010 Candidates

Members of the U.S. Congress face re-election this year, and they may want to listen up.  Registered voters nationwide divide about whether they would support their current elected official or vote for someone else.  If the 2010 election for Congress were held today, 44% say they would vote to elect someone new while 42% would like to see their congressperson stick around.  14% are unsure.

U.S. Capitol buildingClick Here for Complete February 8, 2010 USA Poll Release & Tables

“The winds of change are still blowing around the nation.  If your working address is the U.S. Capitol, you have to watch these figures closely,” states Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Independents are particularly up in arms.  50% of Independents report they would vote for someone else while 34% want to support their current representative.  Republicans divide with 48% saying they would oust the incumbent, and 45% reporting they don’t want a change.  A majority of Democrats — 51% — would support their current member of Congress while 35% would choose an alternative.

Table: U.S. Congress — Incumbent or Other?

D.C. Politicians, “Are You Listening?”

There’s more bad news for Beltway insiders.  56% of registered voters view the 2010 midterm elections as more about sending a message to D.C. politicians.  36% report the election will be more about local issues important to their state or community.  8% are unsure.

This “send a message to Washington” sentiment is stronger among Republicans and Independents.  62% of GOP members and 61% of Independents want Washington politicians to catch on.  This compares with a plurality — 48% — of Democrats who share this view.

Table: Message of 2010 Elections

Congressional Dems Most Vulnerable

Of registered voters who believe this year’s midterm elections are more about sending a message to Washington politicians, approximately one-third say it’s directed at the Democrats in Congress.  21% want President Obama to get the message, and 18% want this sentiment directed to Congressional Republicans.  29% want all to pay attention.

Table:  For Whom is 2010 Election Message Meant

“Country Moving in Wrong Direction,” Says Majority

54% of Americans nationwide say, in general, the country is headed in the wrong direction.  38% believe they are moving along the right track, and 8% are unsure.

Residents have become more pessimistic about the country’s path compared with The Marist Poll’s December survey.  At that time, Americans divided with 46% reporting the country was moving in the right direction and 46% saying it was headed in the wrong direction.  8% were unsure.

Table: Right Direction or Wrong Direction of the Country

Marist Poll Methodology

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