November 11th, 2009
02:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Poll: GOP makes gains in battle for Congress

With a year to go before midterm congressional elections, a new national poll suggests that Republicans are making gains.
With a year to go before midterm congressional elections, a new national poll suggests that Republicans are making gains.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – With a year to go before midterm congressional elections, a new national poll suggests that Republicans are making gains but that Americans are divided over whether they'd vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in their district.

According to a Gallup survey released Wednesday morning, 48 percent of registered voters questioned answered that they would vote for the Republican candidate if the 2010 election for the House was held today, while 44 percent said they would back the Democrat in the race. The GOP's 4 point advantage is within the poll's sampling error.

The Republican Party's lead is a switch from a Gallup poll released a month ago, when 46 percent said they'd back a Democrat, a two point advantage over the GOP. Republicans trailed the Democrats by 6 points when Gallup questioned Americans in July.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released last week indicated that 50 percent of registered voters would vote for the Democratic candidate, with 44 percent saying they would back the Republican candidate. The 6-point advantage for the Democrats was within that poll's sampling error.

Other polls conducted over the past two months also suggest a division among Americans when it comes to the generic ballot question, which asks a respondent if they would vote for a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without naming any specific candidates.

According to the Gallup poll, Democrats said overwhelmingly they would vote for a Democratic candidate, while Republican voters said they would overwhelmingly back the GOP candidate. Independents broke 52 percent to 30 percent for the Republicans. That 22 point advantage for the GOP among Independents is up from a 9 point margin last month.

Next November, all 435 seats in the House and more than a third of the Senate seats are up for grabs. Democrats currently hold a 258-177 advantage in the House, and a 20 seat margin in the Senate.

"When Democratic and Republican candidates for U.S. House square off a year from now, they may face a very different electorate than the one that put Barack Obama in power a year ago," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In 2008, Democratic voters were generally more enthusiastic about voting than Republicans; now it's the GOP's turn to benefit from an enthusiasm gap."

The Gallup poll was conducted by telephone from November 5-8, with the 894 registered voters questioned mostly before the House health care reform vote on November 7. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Congress • Popular Posts
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Vets4Obama

    This means one thing, Democrats, get out and VOTE.....ALWAYS vote. Do NOT get complacent. We must back our President with candidates that will vote his plans into law. We must give him the people to vote his policies into law. Republicans will NEVER do anything productive, as proven through out history.

    So if you are a domestic terrorist, you will vote for a republican. If you are a true patriot you will vote for a democrat, the only party that ever moves america forward.

    November 11, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Alex

    These day-to-day polls are getting annoying. Obama's up, down, and all around. The GOP is dying, thriving, and stalling all in the space of a week. Sad that we're so starved for the opinions of others.

    November 11, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. seebofubar

    I suspect that by the time the 2010 elections come about, the house will become Republican again. We need a change to keep the balance of power.

    November 11, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Parth Punjabi

    About a 130 million people voted in the last election. How are you going to poll 894 people then say that the republicans are catching up. That is a joke if you ask me. People want real CHANGE and they want it soon. but 2010 is right around the corner so we will see what happens then.

    November 11, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. e.c.coleman

    ............And WHO would believe a CNN Poll?

    ........... How laughable!

    ............Believe the Poll of a Radical Liberal Network?

    November 11, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Tim

    It would be nice if mainstream media would recognize that most of those "independant" voters are libertarian-leaning. That might actually mean the Libertarian party would get some favorable press...

    November 11, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. Really?

    So...if you want to gain in American politics the message is obstruct, pobstruct, obstruct, offer no ideas, lie like crazy, try to make people's lives worse, and all that after nearly ruining the nation. If people are really that amazingly stupid then maybe it is time to throw in the towel. Maybe this nation is doomed.

    November 11, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  8. Reagan was wrong

    GOPers will bring out their usual "Americans are starting to wake up" crap, Dems will say these polls mean nothing cause the elections are still a year away, and life will go on.

    YAWN.

    November 11, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  9. billy123

    Please not the GOP again they are the ones who put this country in the large dich we are in now. Please give the Dems sometime to clean up this horrible mess.

    The nest thing people will state they prefer President George W. Bush the worst President in my life time.

    November 11, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Judy Duppman

    It took 8 years so get in this finance mess and less than 1 year to fix.

    Give me a break. Its going to take longer than 2, 3 or 4 years to fix the

    previous administrations decisions.

    Give the present administration a chance.

    November 11, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Lady Pilot

    I new it was only a matter of time before Americans realized the mistake they made by voting Democrats in office. Look at the state they have put our country in. They are like a child in a candy store.

    November 11, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Tommy

    And 100% of this american thinks that CNN needs to look into what the word "journalism" means.

    November 11, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Lady Pilot

    I knew it was only a matter of time before Americans realized the mistake they made by voting Democrats in office. Look at the state they have put our country in. They are like a child in a candy store.

    November 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Dave

    This proves how dumb some Americans are! Republicans put you into this recession and now they want them back. You deserve everything coming to you dummies!

    November 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Hope to Change

    Democrats are in trouble.

    November 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Chris

    Wait until they finish pushing this bad health care plan down America's throat and follow it with "Cap and Tax." They won't see a majority for years to come. Talk about blowing an opportunity!!

    November 11, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. JD

    Bad news for Democrats == Good news for America.

    The time draws near when these agents of economic and national destruction are going to be swept clean out of the seats of power!

    2010 and 2012 can't get here fast enough!

    November 11, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. gary

    2010 = 1994. obozo is going down.

    November 11, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Gary, Los Angeles

    Great! And let's hope they kill that ridiculous healthcare bill as well. Like we REALLY need this expense right now – and in our future!

    November 11, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Mark

    What we really need is term limits, I hope the bill that is mentioned in a other story here is passed quickly!

    November 11, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Rafael VA

    You wanted hope and change? You forgot to ask what kind of change and hope.

    You wanted a rookie President? Now you have a rookie President without a clue!

    2 words to describe Obama. Jimmy Carter

    2010 can't come fast enough.

    November 11, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Craig Marker

    Americans are simply not a patient bunch and it appears that the Republican party/tea baggers have reached them in droves. It's unfortunate that these same Americans are clueless at the fact the Republicans are pulling the wool over their faces.

    November 11, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  23. Nick

    The economy will be a LOT better next year, and the Democrats will do very well.

    Many of those Republican votes are from jobless people who naturally blame the Democrats for their plight even though they know it was a Republican administration and Republican policies that caused the recession. When they get their jobs back, they will swing back to the party that saved us from the brink.

    November 11, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  24. joe

    I guess Republican voters just haven't suffered enough these last 8 years.

    Well sometimes you have to bounce off the wall a few times before you learn not to run into it.

    November 11, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  25. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    so you need someone to back in the party before you would just cast a vote for a party . I am a democrate ,BUT if in a race for public office if the other party had a better person ,more qualified to do the job for the people of his or her district .then I would vote for that person. I guess because I can think out side the box and its not the party its the right person for the job that is important.. WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT SO LETS SPEAK UP AND HELP CHANGE GO FORWARD.
    we voted in this time a great group of people now lets get to supporting all of them . :)

    gary davis
    harbor oregon

    November 11, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
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