November 11th, 2009
02:01 PM ET
5 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. morgan thomas

    I believe the general public are finally starting to realize that the snot nosed kid in the White House and all his buddies don't know what they are doing and times will change for the better.

    November 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom

    I will not complain about the poll, it is what it is. However, a LOT can change in a year!

    IF Americans go back to the Republicans, after the last EIGHT YEARS of FAILURES........ then shame on us!

    I ALWAYS say the same thing about polls; they can not reach Obama's base because the majority of us have Cell phones only! So...... who are the pollsters reaching? An older demographic that tends to be more conservative.

    It IS FUNNY thought, that the NY-23 went Democratic after .... 100 years of voting GOP! And that in California in another Congressional race....... a Democrat won!

    DEMOCRATS PICKED UP..... TWO CONGRESSIONAL SEATS THIS MONTH......... MAKES YOU WONDER ABOUT THE POLL.

    November 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Brad

    Do any of these polls include a likely voter subsample, or is the election too far off to determine who is a likely voter?

    November 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. Jack

    Polls. Funny. I will wait and see what is happening and who is getting paid off next November before I start betting on outcomes.

    November 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Americans need to vote everyone of those people out of office, no matter what their party, and begin to start fresh. We need new blood to run this country. Government thinks American people are stupid so they have to make the decisions for us. I also think American people are stupid because we keep re-electing these fools to office.

    Time to break away from party lines and elect on the person not the party. Let's clean it up before it's too late.

    November 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. marzxyz

    Two thoughts on the recent polls showing significant gains by Republicans: 1.) the voters have short memories and 2.) it's time for a third party in this country.

    November 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Vern

    I have an idea, vote the standing person out no matter what the party, with a message. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER and start taking back the control of OUR country. Say BYE BYE to special interest.

    November 11, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. mikl

    I was democrat party , but not anymore.Healt vote make me republican!

    November 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. JZ, Omaha, NE

    About time this country wakes up and realizes the communist adminstration is leading us down a path of destruction. I just hope this "one term" President can't mess things up too much before he gets voted out like the other communists in Congress.

    November 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Carolyn Jones - Hawthorne, California

    If the GOP wins control we will know that terrirosm and racism will never be put to rest in America.....I am curious who these people are who are polled – having been on this earth 57 years a registered voter since the age of 18 – I have never been polled –

    Anyone who cannot see the GOP has no plans what so ever for assisting the middle and poor americans are idiots!!
    Republicans are bought by the highest bidder

    I say they all should be tried as traitors – and attempting to cause a civil war!! With Palin & Limbaugh as their leaders – That is Really a Scary Thought!!

    November 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. We Won Get Over It

    As we say again AMERICANS ARE STUPID. If they vote for a republican so they can throw this country back in to chaos again, they deserve what they get. It is a shame that we can't just take the dumbed down crooked third world red states lump them together and let nut cases like Palin Bachman rush and fox live there. We would see how long before they come dragging their butt back into a civilized, honest and caring part of the country.

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. George Bush - Worst President Ever

    Polls for next year's election are useless now, unless the economy is in the same or a worse state. I noticed that JP Morgan Chase is getting set to hire over 1000 new employees. The trend is starting to reverse. By the time the elections come next year, the economy will be on the upswing, and all anyone will remember is that the Republicans did nothing to help.

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Drew

    I love how people are already picking their candidates based solely on partisan lines as opposed to waiting to hear the platforms of the candidates...

    November 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Dean

    These polls are so wacked, Let the GOP back some more Conservitive Party canidates like they did in NY 23 and watch the numbers change

    November 11, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Aric G.

    Remember that the vast majority of this country did not vote for Obama and this radical-left administration. A sea of un-vetted radical czars, nationalization of banks and large corporations and an attempted government take-over of 1/6 of our economy (under the guise of “healthcare”) does not sit well with other 237 million of us. In other words, 78% of us DON’T want this guy sending the car to the junkyard when it needs a new set of tires. We saw through the veil of lies before the election, and now even more of us do now that the truth is a lot more apparent. Don’t be surprised when congress turns on its ear in 2010.

    November 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Margaret

    I think it's safe to say that the American people....., you know, "the astro turf"....will have the last word.

    And the entire country will be able to hear it.

    This is no longer about political parties, it is about a corrupt government forcing it's will on the people.

    We are about to term limit you OUT. And then, if we're lucky, investigate and try you.

    November 11, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Jake

    just say no to Republicans...

    November 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. William

    Let me stand your poll on it's head. I was a Republican for 35 years, but after the mess that George Bush and Dick Cheney mad, and left, I will be an independent, who votes for the most conservative candadate that I can find, who tells me the truth and follows through. If he, or she doesn't then I will work dillagently to see to it that they get thrown out in the next election with the rest of the bumbs! I live in Va., and yes I voted Republican, but if they don't deliver I will help throw them out too! I have had all I am going to stand for with the promise anything to get elected, and then line your pockets while you are there
    Republican attitudes!

    November 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Dimslie

    Shhhhh! Keep this quiet. They are stupid but, we don't want to take any chances on waking them up. Remember, the idiots who a year ago cast their votes for someone just because they were promised "change" are still out there.

    November 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Deb (Long Island, NY)

    But of course, let us vote in a few more Republicans and see how bad this economy can tank. CNN who did you poll? I have never been polled and I can assure you I would not vote Republican given the disaster of the last eight years. How is it you gave the Bush administration 8 years to do as they pleased and President Obama has not even had a year? Give me a break! A disgusted American voter!

    November 11, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. cjr

    Oh, right – tell me that this country wants to revert back to the days of GWB – and the destruction of the constitution = what really needs to happen is to elminate republicans from any elective office – even congressmen/women who possibly aare really republicans in disguise. From now on my frriends and I will vote a straight democratic ticket – even if it means electing a nice spotted dog!

    November 11, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. lieNoMore

    Idiocy is apparently more contagious than H1N1...

    November 11, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Pam from Iowa

    Republican Senator Grassley usually gets my vote whenever he is up for re-election, however in 2010, he will not get my vote!
    The reason? His use of fear tactics in town hall meetings where healthcare reform was being discussed.

    November 11, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  24. MB Seattle

    Polls are the flavor of the week and not a good indicator of the issues that both parties will face prior to the midterm elections.

    Watch what the health care, economic and banking issues will do for both parties.

    Teabaggers are putting a lot of noise in the conversations but polls show the majority of Americans favor a public options and the Republicans are only preaching to a vocal minority which is not likely to win them new seats. The more you see the Teabaggers the more I realize what a broken wheel the Republican party is. These people do not grasp the issues only the rumors and are inarticulate in there presentation to the media.

    Economic gains will serve the Democrats well in the midterms. But do we need a endless campaign cycle?
    Maybe the Republican do because they are not doing a job for the taxpayer in Washington and have the extra time to posture.

    November 11, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. st

    Americans are funny people. After eight years repub adminstration, bush and the repub controlled congress left mountain of disaster nobody has any idea to straight it up. And. they want the repub to come in power again.

    November 11, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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