March 13th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Will recession make you vote out incumbents?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the recession drags on, there's a real possibility that the sagging economy could spell trouble for incumbent politicians. Take New Jersey, for example:

Democratic New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine trails his Republican opponent in a hypothetical match up.

A Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters shows Democratic Governor Jon Corzine - who is up for re-election in November - trailing his likely Republican challenger Chris Christie by nine points in a hypothetical match up.

That's up from a six-point margin last month; and Corzine is behind despite the fact that 61 percent of those surveyed say they don't even know enough about Christie.

Half of all voters disapprove of the job Corzine is doing; and 53 percent say he doesn't deserve to be re-elected. In this climate, it probably doesn't help Corzine that he has a Wall Street background.

And Corzine's not the only one. The Dallas Morning News writes that the recession could play a key role in next year's re-election campaign of Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican.

Perry has been very bullish on the economy, taking credit whenever things go well. With job losses expected to peak in Texas right around the primaries, Perry might have a lot of explaining to do.

As one expert puts it: "Bad economies are bad for incumbents. He can't claim he wasn't in office when the economy went bad. He's been there for a decade."

Here’s my question to you: Will the recession make you less likely to vote for incumbents?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jim writes:

Yes, it's going to make me vote for the ouster of all those Republican do-nothings who got us into this mess, did nothing about it, and then tried to sabotage everything our president and this Congress have tried to rectify their wrongs. The Grand Old Pussyfooters had their chance and they blew it royally.

Susan from Tuscaloosa, Alabama writes:

No. I never voted for them anyway. I'd sooner vote for Mickey Mouse than my "incumbents" – Dick Shelby and Jeff Sessions. Need I say more?

Sam from Atlanta writes:

Jack, I don't need a recession to change my mind. It's just time for all career politicians to retire or find new professions and stop claiming how they are 'serving the people' who put them in office! The list is lengthy of those wasting space in D.C. and sucking up taxpayers’ money!

Damon from Salisbury, North Carolina writes:

Didn't we just do that? I say give 'em a couple of years and then I can give you a solid answer.

Agnes from Scottsdale, Arizona writes:

Jack, The recession will double my efforts to unseat John McCain and Senator Kyle from Arizona. We love our congressman Harry Mitchell plus the other members of the Arizona congressional delegation.

Scott writes:

If I could vote against Pelosi or Reid, I'd be more than happy to. Other than that, I prefer it that Democrats are in control.

Susan writes:

In Idaho, they don’t get voted out. They have to be caught playing happy feet in men’s rooms and then they resign. Keep in mind here, folks keep voting the same way and pray for different results.

Filed under: Recession
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Stephen Blank

    I will vote out all Republicans that I can. The unbudgeted, falsified war in Iraq is reason #1. The philosophy that the government and regulation is the problem is reason #2. The economy prpblem is a result of the first two. Out with the failed philosophy and out with their leader that wants to RUSH to failure.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  2. Steven Carpenter

    It would seem to me that no matter which party they are in they all share the responsibility for the problems we have now either through not caring or through inaction. Mostly money buys the vote from them the people don't count .

    March 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  3. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack, if voters show their intelligence every republican incumbent will be voted out of office.
    They have demonstrated so strongly their lack of concern for the surivial of our country and us. Their politics as usual, party first and
    ego trips are absolutely unacceptable.
    The American people are now in power and they do not represent us.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  4. Chris/Chalfont

    Wow Jack, what a pedestrian question...isn't that how the democrats crushed the republicans last November? I believe as I always have that politicians take too much blame when things are bad and too much credit when things are good. People are sheep, and they'll pretty much vote the way the news tells them to. So I guess the better question is whether you and your colleagues are going to have them voted out or not.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  5. johnchristopher saskatchewan

    No. The one who gets my vote is the one who speaks intelligently and candidly about issues that matter: education, health care, employment and care for the elderly. The only other criteria is: are they bought and paid for by corporate bagmen? I know, I know Jack...when you're standing in the voting booth you feel a lot like the guy in the bible to whom God said, "If you can find one honest man there, I will spare the city."

    March 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  6. Chris

    Absolutely. Most of them have been around for awhile, and since they were asleep at the wheel and let things get out of hand they should loose their jobs. God knows many of us did through their apathy.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  7. Casey

    Will I vote out incumbents? Some. I don't care about Dems vs. Rebublicans. I'm a best man for the job type of person. I don't think people realize that when a politician campaigns for office, they are literally applying for a job. When we vote, the people (you and me) are choosing who is most suited to fill the position in contest. As Americans we are the bosses and the politicians are our workers. The records of every sitting senator or congressman is easily available online and it only takes an hour or two to check up on our employees. So if an incumbent is doing well, rehire him or her. If not? Fire them, give 'em the pink slip, his walking papers, involuntary termination, what do they call it in England? give them the sack? There you go. It's not about across the board judgement of parties or religion or whatever other distracting details that exist, it's about whether the employee is doing a good job. Let's do that.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  8. Vicente V.

    Forget the incumbents. We shouldn't be happy until we vote out Democrats and Republicans. They're both more concerned about keeping control of the country within their own party than public service to the American people.
    Vicente Houston,TX a.k.a. Pre-Americano

    March 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  9. Ken in Pinon Hills, California on the Left Coast

    Jack, It took teal Democrat/Republican to create this mess. Go vote them all out.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  10. Sherri Illinois

    This Recession ALL Republicans should be voted out of office and that includes Governors. I blame the GOP for being the White House for 8 yrs and seeing the economy heading downhill AND doing nothing to stop it. Governor Corzine has some issues because anyone stupid enough to be in a moving vehicle without having their seatbeat on, deserves to be voted out. I am sick of the politicians constantly talking out of BOTH sides of their mouth.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  11. Terry from Illinois

    The media needs to get real. Goerge Bush and the Republican policies have put America were it is today. Obama and the Democrats have not had time to change all the crap the Republicans screwed up. Give it a year or so and see what the Democrats do about getting our jobs back in America,

    March 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm |

    I have been trying to vote them out of office for 20 years. Unfortunately California has too many liberals. They would vote for the incompetent incumbents regardless of their performance. It sure would be nice to see Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinsetein given their pink slips.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    My mom always says 'vote em out' but hopefully our created necessity of the internet will effect our research skills while we can't afford to leave the hizzy.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  14. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    I truly believe that painting all incumbents with a broad brush is akin to always voting a straight party ticket: stupid.
    The performance of each incumbent must be scrutinized by voters. The only intelligent voter who can do his or her true civic duty must take each race on a case-by-case basis. The apathetic approach to elections gave us 43 not once but twice and we now know how foolish we were. However, perhaps things changed somewhat in this regard on Nov. 4. I certainly hope so.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  15. Dave in Mentor

    The voted out the incumbents because to the recession. Let's give the new guys a chance.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  16. Jerry Harris

    They all need to get voted out, most only try to improve their own way of life and to hell with the people that elected them to office. If they stay in office longer than two terms they start to believe that they own it. Vote them out

    March 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm |

    No, no, no. That seems to be the Republican’s mantra nowadays. They will oppose any common sense thing that Obama does or proposes.

    Yes, yes, yes. That was their mantra during the Bush let’s-all-get-rich and the heck with the common people days.

    I’ve never seen such sore losers, Jack, so let’s vote the rest of them out and be done with them. It’s time for another party. The Independents? The green party? The Mickey Mouse club? Anything! Although on the bright side, every time one of them opens their mouth, they dig their own hole deeper.

    We can only hope!

    March 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  18. Curtis Wampler, Udall, KS

    As each year passes my college accounting teacher's words ring truer than ever – "Never vote for the incumbent".

    Term limits cannot be implemented soon enough – Congressman and Senators should not be making decisons on legislation based on how it will affect their re-election efforts.

    Imagine the freedom (and urgency) these men and women would feel knowing that they only had 8 years to make the country better.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  19. Pugas-AZ

    No to incumbet voting. If we are ever going to stop the lobby mentality in Washington then we have to make all terms short. Familarity breeds contempt. This would give the elected elite less time to foster relationships that lead to corrupt decision making and future job offers after the politicans get through stiffing the electorate.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  20. Hatcher

    Yoooou Bet! Start with the Great Pretender at the top.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  21. Pody Joston

    YES!!!... Since the President said UNIONS are GOOD... we (citizens) shold have one (UNION) that allows US to vote on issues that we like or dislike... like ONE TERM for congress and senators... to elinimate all of the TAX dodgers within those ranks...

    March 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  22. Garry

    Well, I don't know about other states, but here in Arkansas I can tell you that come election day we are gonna clean house big time. Get rifd of those who have been in office for way to long and even some who have only held office for a short while (Governor Beebe).
    When you have Legislative Session where they vote to raise taxes over and over again during a recession, and then start taking freedoms away left and right without reason, then there is a problem.
    Ask our Governor about the 300 million surplus we have and then ask him about the tax hike on ciggs, milk, car inspections and then ask him about his NEW Tauma Center.
    We are tired of how our politicians are so busy patting themselves on the back fopr jobs well done (for them) and forgetting about the rest of us, who PUT them in office to help us!

    March 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  23. mike in ohio

    This recession, along with the inept,immoral and illegal behavior of the republicans, forces me to vote for democrats. That means if a republican holds office, I will vote against him or her. If a democrat holds office, they get my vote.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  24. Bill G.

    I hope that it has an impact. However, you must remember that people always think that it is the others guys representative and not theirs. People should also remember that the Congress makes the laws, develops the budget and blames everything on someone else.
    Other representatives such as Govenors never take responsibility for anything unless it is in their favor especially here in Texas.
    It took both parties to creat this mess but somehow they do not get the picture nor do they really care. They are set for life with the best pension and health care programs in the world.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  25. Sid...Texas

    Yes Jack,
    I will definitely vote against all Republican incumbents and a few of the incumbent Democrats unless a Republican is running against them. Texas has been a Republican stronghold way to long. I just wish the no, no, no Republicans would take their ball, and go home..We can always find another one....

    March 13, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  26. Anita

    Jack, I would vote for Jon Stewart because he is the only one asking the pertinent questions at the moment.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  27. mary,florida

    All incumbents who supported the policies that got us here should be voted out of office.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  28. hiram haines

    The Republican party has succesfully sold off the American middle class over the pass twelve years. Its time for them all to be voted out office and new people elected. No one serving the people of this county.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  29. Minesh

    The Democrats are causing huge deficits and are totally anti-business. They must be voted out.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  30. Don in Grand Rapids, Mi

    You can bank on my vote to oust every Democrat in office. They've spent us into the grave, and in only 53 days of stupid's administration!

    March 13, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  31. Democrat

    If I were in New Jersey I would definitely vote Republican this time around.

    March 13, 2009 at 5:56 pm |