Thomas Roberts   |  October 22, 2013

Voters give Congress two thumbs down

According to a poll,  half of Americans want current members of Congress out, and the GOP can’t even get favorable reviews from voters within the party.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> fear and loathing , new numbers show it looks like a lot of republicans don't like republicans . as we just saw there from the judge.

>>> plus repeal and replace, almost half of americans want current members out of congress. those are today's hot topics for our agenda today. gang, it's great to have you all here. steve, i want to start with you. we look at " usa today " and the polling show that 47% would think congress would work better if most seats were replaced. was the volatility of the shutdown and debt ceiling fact having more impact, more ripple effect than those would have expected on the right?

>> i definitely think so. i was thinking this morning about a quote from ted cruz in august. he said he thought a tsunami of support if the republican party followed his lead n looking back, i guess he was right. the wave kind of affected congress in ways that he didn't really care for. i absolutely think that these polls show that the american public is angry, they're frustrated and they're turning against the gop, whom they blame for the shutdown, for the debt ceiling crisis, and i think there's a real challenge for the republican party looking ahead. how are they going to get back on track after having created this huge fiasco that they should have seen coming but didn't.

>> it's a tsunami sea change in the other direction for those on the right. so lee, you mentioned recent polling that shows republican committee chairs who were vulnerable to challenge particularly in michigan, california, wisconsin and florida. last week politico said 14 house seats could shift toward the democrats. with that momentum, do you think it will hold and translate to a shift of power in the house come 2014 ?

>> i think it's certainly possible, thomas. this usa today poll that shows that americans would like to replace congress shows deep public dissatisfaction with speaker boehner's leadership. and i think it ties in well with this moveon.org poll that shows even with the most gerrymandered republican congress , democrats have a shot at taking back the house. almost half a dozen republican committee chairman are vulnerable next year. and what some liberal bloggers are upset about is that the democratic party committee that's dedicated to making these campaign decisions has not taken on these committee chairmen. some argue because the dccc is an inherently deserve afternoon organization that shy away from high-profile races. they prefer more blue dog conservative democrat candidates. the other argument is that these republican committee chairmen have access to almost unlimited campaign cash. they can hit up the different corporations that fall under their jurisdiction. buck mckeon is very corrupt, very unpopular and would lose to a generic democrat if the election were held today. the problem is, as head of a committee that oversees the military, he can go to the different defense contractors and raise a lot of cash and that makes a lot of democratic party leaders nervous about taking him on.

>> money talks. let me just show everybody the dnc outraised the rnc last month for the first time. the usa today poll also shows among republicans an those who lean republican 52% think congress would be better off if those seats were replaced. i know you've done a lot of reporting on the tea party . are those numbers a sign of the growing divide among republicans ? most of the vulnerable republicans are worried about losing their seats but being primaried from the right, from the tea party .

>> the tea party strategy has been very much to either actually run candidates or to cut deals with more moderate republicans and say if you don't move further to the right, we will run a candidate against you. in some ways we live in an increasingly one-party democracy. what i mean by that is when you look at everything from cities to congressional districts , there are often parties that dominate completely. all you have to do is win the primary to survive. so in that case, the tea party has pursued what is a very logical and powerful strategy of not just running candidates, but even the threat will often move existing republican party members to the right. and so it will be very curious to see if we see a move to the right by some of the existing, more moderate republicans in congress.

>> fear and intimidation is an interesting motivator. guys, thanks so much for your time. i appreciate it. you can find more from our panel on our website, msnbc.com/thomas-roberts.