November 12th, 2010
09:31 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Half happy about midterm results

Washington (CNN) – A new poll indicates that just under half of all Americans are happy about the results of last week's midterm elections.

According to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 48 percent of the public says they are happy that the GOP won control of the House of Representatives, with 34 percent saying they are unhappy and 18 percent saying they didn't know or refused to answer.

The 48 percent who say they are happy with the election results is 12 points lower than the six in ten who said they were happy following the 2006 midterm elections, when the Democrats won back control of both the House and the Senate, and nine points lower than the 57 percent who said they were pleased following the 1994 midterms, when the Republicans won back control of both chambers.

According to the current poll, 52 percent of people questioned who say they voted in the midterms say they were happy with the outcome. That number drops to 42 percent among those who say they did not vote.

The survey indicates that Americans are divided on the Republicans' plans and policies for the future, with 41 percent approving and 37 percent saying they disapprove. Approval is higher (45 percent ) among those who voted in the election that those who did not vote (35 percent).

"But on balance, both the general public and voters express less positive views of the GOP's policies than they did of the Democrats' proposals after the 2006 election," says the report by Pew.

The new numbers augment the argument by many political analysts and pundits that the Republican's victory in the midterm was more of a rejection of the Democrats' policies than an approval of the GOP.

The Pew poll was conducted November 4-7 with 1,255 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN


Filed under: Congress • Polls
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Cranky Yankee

    "just under half of all Americans are happy"

    That's saying the more than half ARE NOT HAPPY about the results of the midterm elections. I, for one, cannot believe that the America electorate just put back into office, people of the same party that brought this country to its financial knees. I guess the electorate would just prefer being subserviant to those who believe "big business above all else."

    November 12, 2010 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    What do you expect when you have to choose between two evils. We either get one extreme or the other extreme. And none of the elected will represent the people. They all got elected with big bucks from the Special interests.

    November 12, 2010 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. once upon a horse

    ha ha ha just wait until the GOP tries to govern and can't. then locks horns with the Tea Party folks that 48% voted into Congress. We'll see if they are still happy or not, or even willing to admit. Voters express a LESS positive view of Republicans but put them back in there anyway. Just shows the very serious disconnect we have in this country on which direction it should go. Thank you FoxNews for all your mis-information.

    November 12, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    I wonder if the Pew Poll numbers correlate with the 60% of eligible Americans who didn't vote. The 60%ers are the majority now, and their views ought to be reflected accordingly to their numbers. These 60%ers sent a message to Congress by sitting home on election night ... the message they sent in staying home should not be ignored by Pollsters trying to now send Corporate messages of GOPer unity and American voter approval. Fudge the numbers as you will, there is no unity or public approval towards the GOP.

    November 12, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm pissed off. The election results goes to show you how dumb America has become. The stupidity and ignorance of those misinformed voters on the right affects everyone. These morons vote agianst their own interests and then wonder why nothing ever gets done.

    November 12, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  6. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    This is a really dumb poll. What is the context of this question? While I am pleased with the results nationally, I am displeased with the results locally as I live in a deep blue state that will be the loast holdout.

    November 12, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess the few that were asked in this survey (too small a number really) like to see a good fight between Congress and the White House. The problem with some of the voters is that they only see short term like many businesses around.

    November 12, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. Peace

    I might be one of those who were very, very happy of the mid-term results. Mainly it was not because GOP took over the house, it was mainly because the lady in Neveda lost the election. I got many sleepless nights thinking Sherry Angle to be in Washington.. The news which came that she lost election, was a Xmas gift which came to me before its time!

    November 12, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. vic nashville tn

    So clock is ticking for GOP no tsunami no earthquake on November 2nd

    Cooperate and rich bought the election for GOP

    November 12, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  10. Will

    Happiness usually depends on two things:
    -Did you vote?
    -Did you vote YOUR interest? or did you vote based on propaganda, fear, or what is not best for everyone.
    If you did either of these two things, the results will show. If you did not vote at all, you can't complain.

    November 12, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Right Leaning Independent

    WHAT???? They did not poll me!!! I am extremely happy with the results!!! This poll means nothing because I was not polled!! Besides, if all of the people with cell phones were polled, the number of people that were not happy would be much higher!!!!!!!! Only old folks have land lines.....LOL. I enjoyed that philosophy from the crazy lib bloggers during the run up to November 2nd!!! I guess the polls were pretty accurate after all....

    November 12, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. John Q.

    Political parties are inherently corrupt by their very nature; best when one Party does not control Congress and the white House. A Party is run by men, people, and comes with all the human weaknesses that too much power brings.

    November 12, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. SayWhat

    I can't wait for the results of the same poll six months from now when the public finally realizes that the GOP's promises of lowering the deficit and providing jobs was a boldface lie. The platform is lower taxes for the rich, increased defense spending, deruglation for Wall Street and big buisness and letting the health insurance companies run wild again. Are you ready to pick up the tab for all this America?

    November 12, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Michelean

    They are going to be happy soon since this new adult supervision for Obama is going to calm corporations which will help spur hiring and spending. Obamacare, indecision on taxes and our anti-business President has been like driving with the parking brake on. People where I live are very upbeat.

    November 12, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Ben in Texas

    Here's what you can do with statistics, and a little creative thinking:

    Forty-eight percent is the high-water mark, coming as it does right after the election. There will never be a time until the next election where this number will be so high, and it is not even a majority of Americans expressing this view. Yet, the Repugnants will insist that they have some vast mandate to institute their form of fascism. It has been shown time and again that there is a group of roughly 30%who are hard core stupid, and they make up over half of the 48% that are happy with the Repugnant victory. So, discounting those who are ignorant and proud of it, along with those who belong in a mental institution, sociopaths, and a few old soreheads, there is a tiny fraction, like the 2% richest Americans, who are truly happy about the Repugnant victories.

    November 12, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  16. Rick McDaniel

    The main benefit of the midterms, is that now the outrageous Obama spending, can be stopped. Little else will come of it.

    Ultimately, it will be replacing Obama himself, that gets us out of the mess we are in. Failure to do that, will continue the downward spiral.

    November 12, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Monster Zero

    There isn't more optimism being evidenced because the GOP failed to take control of the Senate, therefore wonder boy Barry still has limited power and the veto. For those that keep asking the question on here "where are the jobs GOP?", I believe most of the House and Senate nominees do not take their seats until January. Additionally, I love the way the liberal pundit shills continue to spin the tax cuts as adding a trillion dollars to the deficit...too funny. How can allowing people to keep their own money be adding to the deficit, here is a news flash, CUT GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND TAX FUNDED PENSIONS AND SUPPLEMENTS. Why should Government workers be the only Americans exempt from this financial disaster that much of their own lack of accountability caused? Just think of those 400 SEC auditors that watched while Lehman Brothers collapsed or how about the billions wasted on pretending to secure our borders?

    November 12, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. HD 100% ETH

    On half way election, half happy. On the final election, finally happy.

    After all, Obama will go back to his main place Kenya, the Lion Safari. They will tell him to back-off. "Why you came when you loose. We don't accept loosers".

    November 12, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Four and The Door

    the Republican's victory in the midterm was more of a rejection of the Democrats' policies than an approval of the GOP.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    That's fine. The Democrats' policies have been able to play out and they have shown to be obscenely expensive just when we need to conserve tax dollars... and just a obscenely ineffective just when we need results. To be honest it certainly has more to do with the specific Obama administration than the full failure of the Democratic party and I doubt that he's the best they got.

    November 12, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. Marie MD

    I wonder how many of these people voted so that they wouldn't now be disappointed.

    November 12, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. American

    How much compromise will be worked together for the American people during these important times? Not really holding my breath with these politicians who already admitted No to reasonable compromise.
    Oh well, bring in the clowns...

    November 12, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. keepstufingthis

    It would have been better if the corrupt unions that put the current incompetent, inept, corrupt, lying, union toady president in office had not stolen those senate elections.

    November 12, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. Dave

    Why care about those who didn't take the time to vote?

    November 12, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. a in austin

    Weren't we promised that the majority would focus on JOBS AND THE DEFICIT? Where are the jobs and why do they insist on extending the tax cuts? FACE IT, THEY ARE NOT FOR MAIN STREET AMERICANS. Their interests are the rich and the corporations. They have a lot pay backs coming up – and it's not for "WE THE PEOPLE!"

    November 12, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. RAWoD

    It seems exceptionally sad for our great country to be so divided. I suspect, while there were many things that happened to get us to this divided state, that the major dividing point was the SCOTUS 'selecting' our president.

    Much attention was given to adherence to our Constutution in this last election cycle. I ask you, my fellow citizens, how did this activision stand? Nothing I can find in our Constitution gave the court any right to interfere with the lawful recound of votes by a state.

    November 12, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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