April 1st, 2010
04:45 PM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Democrats lose edge on economy

When Americans are asked which party would do a better job with the economy, poll results show Republicans now hold an advantage over Democrats.
When Americans are asked which party would do a better job with the economy, poll results show Republicans now hold an advantage over Democrats.

Washington (CNN) - Democrats have lost their large advantage over Republicans when Americans are asked which party would do a better job with the economy, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 48 percent of Americans say Republicans in Congress would do a better job dealing with the economy, with 45 percent saying that congressional Democrats would better handle the issue. That's a switch from last August, when Democrats held a 52 percent to 39 percent advantage on the economy.

Full results (pdf)

According to the poll, Democrats have some ground on health care, but not as much as on the economy. In August, 51 percent thought that Democrats would do a better job with health care reform than the GOP. That's now down to 48 percent, but it's still slightly higher than the 46 percent who say Republicans would do a better job on the issue.

"Democratic losses on the economy are roughly twice as big as their losses on health care," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That's evidence that the economy - not health care - is the chief reason for the Republicans' current advantage over the Democrats in the midterm congressional races."

A CNN survey released Tuesday indicated that the GOP held a four point edge over Democrats in voters' choice for Congress, a switch from last fall, when Democrats held a six-point advantage.

Democrats currently hold a 253 to 177 advantage in the House of Representatives, with four seats the Democrats once held vacant and one seat that the GOP held vacant. Republicans need to win 40 seats to take back control of the chamber.

While the battle over health care reform has dominated headlines lately, the economy is still issue number one with voters, and nearly eight in ten people questioned in the survey say the economic conditions in the country today are somewhat or very poor. That's down five points from February but still nearly quadruple the number of people who say the economy's in very good or somewhat good shape.

"Dissatisfaction with the economy is roughly 20 points higher than any opposition to the new health care bill," adds Holland.

The survey indicates that only terrorism is a better issue than the economy for Republicans. While the GOP has a ten-point edge on terrorism, Democrats score slightly better on foreign policy and Afghanistan. According to the poll, the Democrats' best issues are education and the environment.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted March 25-28, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Democrats • Economy • GOP
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Independent_me

    You gotta be kidding!
    The Repugnants destroyed the economy and left their mess for Obama and the Democrats to clean up...and now that the economy is beginning to improve America really thinks that they can be better trusted with the economy?????

    You GOTTA be kiddin'!!!!!!

    April 1, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Albo58

    Couldn't be the massive spending and rising unemployment that lost them the people's confidense...it must be something else!

    April 1, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Denial -- It ain't a River in Egypt

    As a Democrat recently stated:

    ""There is a wave here. The first shore was New Jersey and Virginia, where the Democratic governors lost. The second was Massachusetts. It's coming to the island now and Democrats better be ready."

    Judging by this message board - and the Democrats on it - it is painfully obvious they are not ready at all.

    November is going to be a complete disaster for them.

    April 1, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Steve- Illinois

    Show me a trickle up theory that has ever been proven to work, and I'll quit believing in trickle down! Fair enough?
    Trickle up creates generational welfare, trickle down creates jobs!
    Just a minor difference!

    "Socialism is great until you run out of people to pay for it."
    Margaret Thatcher

    April 1, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Dustin

    Honestly this is how stupid the American public is. They expect that we completely halt unemployment and send the economy sky rocketting upwards in under a year. Really people? Really?

    April 1, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Who can afford 300K for a "new" home? The real estate industry and their lenders is STILL a scam run by liars and crooks. People sign a loan doc getting tricked then see their interest double. Oh well I guess as long as the Wall Street hedge fund managers make their $ that's all that matters according to the Republicans = no new regulation.

    April 1, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. Good one, not

    This is a CNN April Fools joke. No one is this stupid. BTW, you saw the real truth about polling? They way undercount youth, way.

    April 1, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  8. MikeH

    That's another CNN poll where they cooked the data and that I don't believe. To wit: The economy is growing at ~5%, highest mfg. figures since '04, stock market up 2K since the Bush/Republican Economic great Recession of '09, Bank bailout turning a profit of $80 Billion for the government.

    Yeah right CNN, you got caught twisting the data last time with the Health Care Bill poll, we'll see what you tried to pull off with this poll right soon.

    April 1, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Retardingan

    Polls of
    (a) people who predominantly use their land line
    (b) who are home
    (c) who are stupid enough to answer personal questions asked by some guy that calls them up

    These are the same people that think they won publisher's clearing house millions folks. Polls, shmolls.

    April 1, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. Jason

    These polls are meaningless. Ask the same crowd 10 minutes later what they think, and the numbers will be reversed. In any case, they're all within the margin of error.

    Essentially, our populace is stupid, ill-informed, and intellectually lazy. That explains the appeal of people like Sarah Palin on the right, and Jane Hamsher from Firedoglake on the left.

    April 1, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. The GOP wants to take our country backwards

    What short memories people have!! We are an ADD society. The GOP won't even talk about their plans because all they have are the failed policies that brought us the current recession which the Democrats are still trying to fix. You can't fix an economic meltdown a decade in the making in two years. President Obama has done a good job stopping the crash and stabilizing things, but it will take some time to see much more. Plus, thanks to the GOP's free market and deregulation so many of our jobs have been shipped overseas that it will be difficult to get back to where we were without some large investments in education and research which the GOP will not support. People need to turn off Survivor and inform themselves.

    April 1, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  12. Perusing-through

    DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY DEMOCRATS LOST THEIR EDGE?

    Because people like Democratic Senator John Kerry and most Democratic Legislatures are keeping their heads low and staying out of sight just in case President Obama fails.

    It happened in 1994 after the Clinton's failed attempt at HCR, and Republican-GOP rebounded on Democratic failure, which led to GOPs "Contract with America" in 1994 and the Republican’s take over of Congress.

    Democrats have no shame about being cowards.

    April 1, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. Jim from Seattle

    Just another irritating reality – too many voters don't have a clue about why the economy is what it is.. over-inflating real estate, a machine the banks and investors have used to make money where value doesn't exist. Sure many Democrats are guilty of contributing to the eventual failure, but Republicans are most guilty. Deregulating bank practices is their mantra. Obama inherited the worst economic outlook in 100 years (Alan Greenspan's appraisal in 2008). Yet many bone-head Republicans blame Obama for it. Limbaugh referred to the "Obama Recession" before Obama was even sworn in.
    And now, Republican leaders refuse to help Obama with anything just so he'll look bad 2012. Republicans=cancer.

    April 1, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Michael

    This poll is "hoqwash," which I do not believe! CNN, stop just polling repuglicans or sly repuglicans acting like they are independents, you are smarter that this, put those repuglicans and ex Bush employees on other tasks intead of polling! Repulicans under Bush squandered billions of surplus left them by Clinton, left 11 trillion deficit, 1.3 trillion yearly deficit, left 2 Wars (Afghanistan, Iraq), @ nuclear conflicts (Iran, North Korea), Left a Wall Street, Banking, Mortgage, Auto, Education, Healthcare crisis, and a nation on the brink of a economic collapse! BUT, CNN AND FOX WOULD HAVE US TO BELIEVE REPUGLICANS HAVE GAINED GROUND ON THE ECONOMY! GET A GRIP CNN!

    April 1, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. RCasson

    Things are improving. Time will prove it.

    April 1, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  16. I Am The Great Sociopathic Wizard of Rush

    98 % believe that CNN has outgrown its usefulness and will soon no longer be a news organization.

    April 1, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Taylor

    How can a poll of 1300 respondents with a country 350 million people possibly measure what the public is thinking?CNN like USA TODAY, MARIST, GALLUP and others are totally dishonest. CNN did not poll me. My opinion matters, right?

    April 1, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Kathleen

    Republicans are not be seen at this time as caring about the American People. They are the ones who made the biggest mess America has ever ever seen!

    The Republicans blame it all on Medicare, S.S. and Unemployment.
    That is what created this mess? That is what the Republicans want us to believe. We should just give up on entitlements! Everything for them nothing for the people? They have lied and deceived America too long!

    April 1, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. Kathleen

    Do they call evangelicals? Like Church People?

    Do they call areas that are Republican? Why I have never gotten one call!

    Well, just in case your interested. My answer is always Democrat.

    April 1, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  20. b in FL

    It is really amazing me that so many Americans have such short memories and/or very little patience. Why in the world would anyone vote back in the party that destroyed our economy in the first place! If anyone out there thinks voting Republican in November is going to quicken the pace of an economic recovery you truly live in Fantasyland! The Repubs don't care about the economy, that's why we were headed for the next big depression just over a year ago. Wake up people...it's the Repubs policies of non-regulation and free capitalism, etc etc that got us into this mess. The majority voted for change in 2006 but unfortunately we still had a Republican president so he vetoed everything. We voted again for change in 2008 but now, only after 15 months of our CHANGE president being in office, you people are ready to vote for Republicans again. This economy is slowly recovering and we are on the right track. Jobs will come back but it will take time. Please don't allow us to go backwards come November...keep the Democrats in the majority!!

    April 1, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Lost in Texas Forever

    perhaps if the media would start to focus more on the improvements that have happened since Obama took office like the change in the stock market...showing more rising than falling lately, the numbers of the unemployed slowly starting to go down as certain companies start to hire again, people getting aid to keep from losing their homes, banks slowly starting to loan money again, the truth about certain stimulus programs working and stop with the constant negative battles going on people may have a different view. If all you see everyday is GOP vs Dem....Tea Party people shouting and shaking their fists at everything in sight, the likes of Palin, Beck, Limbaugh et al who NEVER have anything positive to say and love to incite anger maybe, just maybe we can see things ARE starting to get better...not worse.

    April 1, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  22. MCD

    I doubt that a few polls gives "the Republicans an edge in November."

    Many people feel that Obama did not go far enough on healthcare... as in "Public Option"... even thou they expressed regret at the outcome of the health care reform, those people will never vote republican! So, you see, it is all in how you read the polls and what questions are asked.

    April 1, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  23. Richard

    In this poll 1000 Republicans were surveyed.

    April 1, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Danny Cali

    I disagree with this poll about the economies and I don't think that the Republican has do better job than Democratic, look who the one make American no food on the table last 8 or 9 years? I think he was G.W.B. right...........! So, get real Mr. Keating.

    April 1, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  25. sparc

    Was the headline supposed to read "Dems Hold Edge on Economy"? I don't get it, most Americans think the Dems do better on the economy and FOX or CNN write the opposite. It'll be fun to watch the campaign this Fall, Dems have dragged the US economy out of the ditch the Repubs drove it into and the Repubs will campaign on driving it back into the ditch. Media are you ready to report?

    April 1, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
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