New poll hints Congress could see a shake-up in 2012

Holly Bailey

In a sign of how perilous the ongoing partisan gridlock could be for both parties in Washington, a new poll finds that just 30 percent of Americans are willing to re-elect their current member of Congress.

According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 63 percent of those surveyed say they are inclined to "look around" for someone new to elect. That's the highest anti-incumbency number ever recorded in the poll, which dates back to 1989.

By comparison, roughly half of Americans said they were looking to new candidates ahead of the 2010 midterms, when Republicans claimed 63 new seats in Congress and regained majority control of the House.

The latest poll would seem most perilous to Republicans, since they hold more seats in the House. More broadly, however, the survey underlines just how little esteem the country holds for sitting lawmakers from either major party in Congress.

Still pollster Gary Langer writes in an analysis of the poll that anti-incumbency is particularly high among Democrats, "a possible sign they are stirring as they did not in 2010."