American voters are as ready to dump
incumbent lawmakers as they were just before they handed
control of Congress to Republicans in 1994, according to an ABC
News/Washington Post poll released on Monday.
Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, stand to lose the most in the November elections because of strong anti-incumbent sentiment and they trail Democrats in support among registered voters, the poll showed.
Fifty-three percent of those surveyed called themselves
"anti-incumbent" -- nearly the same as the 54 percent who
identified themselves as such in the summer of 1994 when
Congress was still under the Democrats' control.
While the percentage of anti-incumbent Republicans was
lower in the poll than the percentage of anti-incumbent
Democrats in 1994 (33 percent versus 46 percent), the share of
anti-incumbent independents rose to 61 percent from 57 percent
The telephone poll, which has a 3 percentage point margin
of error, was taken between August 3 and August 6 among 1,002
Among registered voters, 52 percent said they would support
the Democrat in their congressional district if the election
were held today. Only 39 percent said they would vote for the
Republican, the poll showed.
Republicans are being hurt by Americans' anti-war
sentiment, the poll showed. Thirty-eight percent of those
polled said they would be more likely to oppose a candidate who
supports President George W. Bush's Iraq policy, compared with
only 23 percent who would back such a candidate.
But the poll also showed that Democrats have yet to win
over Americans, who remain evenly split on whether the party
offers the country a clear direction that differs from that
offered by Republicans.
Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited