January 25th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
4 years ago

CNN Poll: Most Americans applaud Democrats' loss of supermajority

Washington (CNN) - Americans are divided on whether Democratic control of Congress is good for the country, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that 7 in 10 Americans believe that the Democrats' loss of their 60 seat supermajority in the Senate is a positive move for the country.

Forty-five percent of people questioned in the poll said Democratic control of Congress is a good thing, with 48 percent disagreeing. The margin is within the survey's sampling error. But the results are a shift from last June, when 50 percent felt that Democratic control of both chambers of Congress was good and 41 percent felt it was bad for the country.

Full results (pdf)

Democrats control the House 256 to 178, with one seat vacant. Last week's victory by Republican Scott Brown in a Massachusetts special Senate election to fill the final three years of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's term means that Brown will become the 41st Republican in the chamber, leaving Democrats with 59 senate seats. That's one short of the filibuster-proof supermajority they have held since last spring, when Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania switched parties.

"The poll provides more evidence of the dwindling appeal of the Democratic party in the wake of last week's special election in Massachusetts," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Fewer Americans have a favorable view of the Democrats, and fewer support Democratic control on Capitol Hill."

Brown, a state Senator, became the first Massachusetts Republican to win a U.S. Senate election since 1972, but the survey indicates that most Americans don't see his victory as a huge blow for the Democratic party. Thirty-eight percent of those questioned said it's a major defeat, while 44 percent said it's a minor setback. Seventeen percent said it will no effect on the Democrats.

According to the poll, 46 percent of the public has a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, with 44 percent viewing the Republican Party in a positive light. That's a change from October, when 53 percent had a favorable opinion of Democrats and 36 percent saw the GOP in a positive light.

While the survey's numbers are not great news for the Democrats, "the coming midterm campaign may not be smooth sailing for the Republicans either," Holland said. "Nearly half the public says they are angry at both parties; only one in ten are angry only at the Democrats."

All 435 seats in the House, as well as 18 Democratic-held and 18 Republican-held Senate seats, are up for grabs in November's midterm elections.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted January 22-24, following the January 19 special election in Massachusetts, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN Polls • Democrats • Popular Posts
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Mississippi Mrs.

    Losing one vote... after buying three....Priceless.

    January 25, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    The fact is, the Dems have had congress for 3 yrs.........and have basically accomplished nothing but arguing.

    Time for real change, and not imaginary change.

    January 25, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  3. Jimmy James

    Yeah, they couldn't get anything done with the supermajority yet still blamed republicans. Now they only have a 19 vote majority. More than Bush ever had, yet they still can't agree on anything. Continue to blame Bush for everything and the number of people who dislike Democrats will grow. They voted you in because of Bush. They don't want to hear you constantly blame him. They want you to fix it.

    January 25, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. Tracy

    Neither party should have a supermajority.

    January 25, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. jane

    People are disappointed that Democrats haven't been able to accomplish more, as am I. But surely voters will think twice before voting in Republicans to replace them. We must remember that those who vigorously thrwarted efforts on behalf of health insurance reform are Republicans, as are those who are primarily responsible for the economic mess we are in. Just trying desperately to clean up after the incredible damage done by the Bush administration has taken much of the Democrats' time and energy.
    Surely no sensible voter will vote to put Republicans back in charge. We would be cutting off our nose to spite our face. We must think of rational alternative approaches.

    January 25, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. greenfish

    Frankly they all should be thrown out of office, but I take no comfort in a republican ascendancy.

    George Bush and his cohorts destroyed this country by irresponsible fiscal policies, dishonest foreign policies and greed, greed, greed.

    January 25, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Ken

    And Obama's solution to the loss is the same: more debt, more taxes, more government giveaways. These Dem's just can't grasp the concept of stop piling on the debt!

    January 25, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Molly Weasley

    If Republicans ever stopped being the "party of no," actually came up with some substantive ideas and made ANY effort at all to work with Democrats, this sentiment might be true. But they made the political calculation to oppose everything, hoping to gain support, with the help of the propaganda cable news channel.

    And sad to say, some Americans are dumb enough to believe them.

    January 25, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. Beverly - NYC

    Wait until the Republicans continue to stonewall and say NO. The fickle American public will swing back the other way. It won't take long, I spent the summer watching a bunch of loudmouths who I know would drive 10 miles, wasting gas to save 5o cents on their favorite toilet paper but saving $ on healthcare, oh no, can't do that. Not a day goes by when there isn't a letter to the editor in my local paper where some blue hair isn't complaining that their medical cost have gone up and their social security hasn't. As long as "it" is happening to some else American's don't care.

    January 25, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    "The poll provides more evidence of the dwindling appeal of the Democratic party ."

    Big surprise there..
    .

    January 25, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. dstay

    The Nov. elections cannot come fast enough to clean the libs off of Capitol Hill. I pray that the Reid/Peloso/Obama mantra keeps and I surely think the dems are incapable of grasping the truth about their abysmmal standing with the majority of Americans. The conservatives will take our country back from the left.

    January 25, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. jp,michigan

    United States of America is not a partisn country, so neither should its congress be. Debate is the key to good government and to have one party, stop the other from good old debating on subjects, is wrong.

    January 25, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Michael from Ventura

    Americans are so used to gridlock they think it's a good thing. How sad.

    January 25, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. TONY

    You mean most stupid Americans are you people that stupid.

    January 25, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. Gary's Opinion

    Super majority = super abuse....we need balance. 50% republicans, 50% Dems and 10 % independents....er um I guess that is more than 100%, guess my public education wasn't that good?

    January 25, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Tram

    No, most Americans are NOT applauding it. Most Americans are scared out of their wits that another would-be dictatorial regime like the Bush Administration is going to weasel its way back into power by scaring and bribing a sonambulant public.

    January 25, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    The democrats never had a supermajority with people like Joe Lieberman around.

    January 25, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. bts

    The loss of Kennedy's seat to a Republican wouldn't be so horrible if not for the fact that nothing will get done. If Brown truly represented the people of America and not just Mass. and not just Republicans, and not just the wealthy, then it would be acceptable. This country is a melting pot of people that have various needs that should be addressed and met. All legislature can't be for the wealthy, or Republicans, or Democrats for that matter. All people, and classes, and races, and walks of life have to be considered... or we turn into a third world country, not US of America.

    January 25, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. sensible Cape Coral FL

    I am a very strong supporter of the two party but the Republicans have made it impossible for anyone to continue such support. Their mindless negativism is nothing short of obscene.

    January 25, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Ancient Texan

    The nation's interest seem to best served when the party in control of the Whitehouse is offset and counterbalanced by the other party in control of Congress.

    January 25, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  21. vwrtb

    Corporate fascist are in the rebound! Yes!

    January 25, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  22. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    It was a bad idea when they found that box of ballots marked for Al Franken. But the libs have a history of stealing elections. They all more things than taxpaying Americans. Just look at the corrupt, inept fraud they installed as President. He reminds me of Warren Harding and US Grant. They just didn't have a clue either.

    January 25, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  23. Brice

    IDIOT Americans, you are going to regret this. This is why Republicans make this happen because they confuse you foolish. First month of Jan last year, lost over 700,000 was set up by Bush and Cheney as already plan to screw Obama and Dems. I believe Wall Street has a arm of Republicans when had this happen. That's why everything ruin Obama's hope. First few months in 09 was on purpose. Lost jobs was not factor. There must be something reason other than blame Obama for everything.

    Good luck to idiot Americans again. Tea is no black people in that big evidence. Obama is going to win with majority of black and hispanic.

    January 25, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. Julie

    So then the Republicans are ready to fight special interest groups and corporate American to put the American taxpayer back in control of the country? Really??? It was a Republican dominated U.S. Supreme Court (6 justices appointed by Republican president and 3 appointed by Democratic presidents) that just handed corporate America back the "keys to the city" (DC) with its decision to view corporations as "individual" citizens and allow them to put as much money, and therefore buy as much influence, in the elections of our government's leaders as they want. Are Republicans really going to fight big corporations to help the average citizen? This I have to see.
    I think big corporations are back in charge of government more than ever before. Thank you Reagan, Bush, and Bush for your appointees.
    Now congressional Republicans, you'd better start working for us or taxpayers will hand you the same kinds of losses. We've had enough.

    January 25, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Mike in NJ

    Great. Now can we bring back the True Filibuster?

    January 25, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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