November 19th, 2010
10:10 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Less than half know GOP won the House

(CNN) – The Republican Party won decisive control of the House in this year's midterm elections, but it appears less than half the country is aware of it.

According to a new Pew poll, only 46 percent of those surveyed correctly identified that the Republican Party won the House as a result of the November 2 elections. But it's not all bad – 75 percent did know the Republicans performed better than the Democrats, it's just that many aren't aware exactly what the party won.

Fourteen percent thought the GOP won control of both the chambers, 8 percent thought Republicans won just the Senate, and 27 percent didn't know one way or the other. Five percent meanwhile thought Democrats maintained control of both the House and Senate.

The questions about the election were part of a larger poll quizzing American's knowledge on current events. Among the poll's other findings:

  • 38 percent correctly identified John Boehner as the incoming House Speaker
  • 16 percent correctly said more than half of the loans made under the Troubled Asset Relief Program had been repaid
  • 15 percent correctly identified David Cameron as Prime Minister of England; the same amount said it was ex-BP CEO Tony Hayward
  • 26 percent know Android is the operating system by Google for mobile phones

The poll surveyed 1,001 adults by telephone between November 11-14 and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


Filed under: 2010 • GOP
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. kyle

    Nov 2 proved how dumb we Americans are.

    November 19, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  2. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Oops. I meant class. Now who's the "moran"? Have a nice day!

    November 19, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  3. Squiggs

    The average American is the dumbest creature on the face of the planet. No wonder the top 2% is increasing in wealth and power. The rest of us are enthralled with Dancing With the Stars, American Idol and other bulls- while the rich and the conservatives continue to slowly amass an overwelming amount of wealth and power. These idiots who didn"t know that the GOP is in control of the house have no idea what there ignorance is going to do to them and their children. I ganruntee you they can tell you who's left on DWTS and Real Housewives of whatever city you pick. GOG HELP US.

    November 19, 2010 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is sad that many Americans don't vote, understand their government or keep up on what is going on here or anywhere else. We need to have everyone vote and be aware. We have an uniformed electorate which is a growing problem. There needs to be a change in culture here that lets everything go; people need to get the feeling that they need to be involved. This apathy is awful!

    November 19, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. SdJ

    When as many people think Tony Hayward is the Prime Minister of the U.K. (not "England" as CNN wrote), as the *actual* Prime Minister, David Cameron – then how do you expect the American people to be able to understand Keynesian economic theory or the importance of ratifying New START?

    No wonder people are buying into the fear tactics of the right. When you can't process or comprehend the essential facts of the world around you, you can only respond one way: emotionally. De Tocqueville was right....the judgment of the wise is subordinate to the prejudices and gullibility of the ignorant.

    November 19, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. XWngLady

    EXACTLY!!! Like I've been saying, when the Republicans (or the Democrats for that matter) say "Americans have spoken" or "The American People want this or that", rarely, if ever are they referring to a majority of the entire population, rather a % of registered voters (not even the eligible voters) that actually decided to vote! Clearly this doesn't necessarily represent the will of the majority of overall Americans. And then when these polls survey "likely voters" and such, it gets even muddier. But that doesn't stop people from believing that no one supported the Democrats and that everyone hates the healthcare bill and that everyone loves and supports the Republicans – just a bunch of know-nothing lemmings that repeat whatever they hear and do whatever Limbaugh, Beck, Cantor, DeMint and the like tell them to do.

    November 19, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. db

    Less than half know there IS a House!

    November 19, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Peace

    Seriously, now the time has come to whoever has to vote should pass the test and know what they are doing, and hence know the results. No wonder they were bombarded with Ads from Karl Rove full of lies and they believed it. What a shame to the greatest nation on earth. What is this nation great for?????

    November 19, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. jjww

    More than half are idiots with strong opinions of matters they don't understand.

    November 19, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. jeff, alabama

    What a revelation ! Have you lost
    your minds, CNN ? Those people
    are the very ones who GAVE control
    to the democrats !!!
    Educated people voted in this mid-
    term election. Get out the vote brings
    out the uneducated and sometimes
    deceased voters who vote for the
    democrats. Geez maneez....CNN !!!

    November 19, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Mike Dallas

    Wow, what a "mandate" against "Obamacare" and "socialism"!

    Keep spinning it cable bobble-heads and drama queens!

    November 19, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Poser

    Four and the Door
    No longer will the American taxpayer be stuck paying the tab for reckless spending in celebration of the complete power left wing liberals had on the function of our federal government. Accountability has returned to Washington DC.

    Actually, we've been stuck paying the tab for tax cuts for the top 2% of the earners for the past ten years. Where are all the jobs they were supposed to be creating? The GOP wants to extend those tax cuts to create jobs. If they didn't create them for the past ten years, what makes anybody think they will suddenly create jobs now? Extending them is just keeping things exactly the same as they are now. That doesn't create a single job and the cost is hundreds of billions of dollars. Now that is reckless. Accountability has returned to Washington DC? HA!

    November 19, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Who isn't surprised? despite the number we here of 60-70 percent voter turnout, that's of registered voters.
    Our President won the election with approximately 24% of elegible voters- no one ever is elected by a "majority".
    This last election was closer to 22%- so the "mandate" Republicans think they got is a joke.

    November 19, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  14. Jack

    And do you want to know the reason why?

    My college son said it very well "the politicans act more childish than we did in high school! So, pay any attention to them!

    November 19, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Expat American

    go figure....less than half of the electorate actually have a passport too.

    November 19, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. NameHD 100% ETH

    Time is changed, to let some backwards on the hard workers and supperiors place(seat).
    However, it becomes impossible and not comfortable for those ...who never get used to, until they learn in the next few thousands of years.

    Can you bring a Monkey/Baboon in the priceful White House to tell American People what to do??? I don't want hear that.....

    November 19, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. steven harnack

    That is disgusting! We need to do like Australia does where voting is mandatory and fines are levied on those who don't vote. We could probably pay off the deficit after a couple of elections. It's not really a democracy when 20% of the population decides for the other 80%.

    November 19, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Steve (the real one)

    Yeah, but I'll bet they know who Snooki and the Situation is! If you stayed silent on Election Day, stay silent now!
    @AC, McConnell is a racist because you say so? Or is it you're just beside yourself that he does not support the policies of a lefty President? You guys keep tossing that term around like an overinflated beachball. As far as the "will of the American people" go, you ever consider he was talking about the majority of those who bothered to vote? I'm betting no!

    November 19, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  19. AEJ

    To me the only electon which matters and means a great deal to Americans is the "general election". This is how it is and will always be. People are less interested in mid-term elections. Please ask this same question again after the 2012 election and you will see a different reaction. GOP is just lucky for the next two years.

    November 19, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Steve (the real one)

    Make that who they "ARE", not is!

    November 19, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. ST

    What about starting: "No single American left behind" and educate everybody. I can assure you that if you ask the rest of the world, 98% will tell you Dems retained the Senate and GOP took the house. How come those who voted do not know the outcome!!!!!!! This is something not to be ignored.

    November 19, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Dean

    These are the people who put the idiot we have now in the White House. Who's surprised?

    November 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. CBR

    Once again the polls are telling us what Americans know, think and feel. The polling numbers are never the same. In the last election the polls were talked about so often that it was a complete annoyance.

    So now we are polling again and the pollsters think they are telling us something we did not know. Many Americans do not get involved in elections or vote. The most generous thing pollsters could do would be to stop polling. They are an annoyance and there purpose is ----–.

    What is even more objectionable is news people touting these polls. Watch the faces of the newspeople – they can hardly contain themselves when the give the results.

    We need to stop paying for polls and use that money to bring down the debt.

    November 19, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Is it any wonder considering that they haven't done a lick of work?
    Where are the solutions?
    Where are all the great ideas?
    Where are the jobs?????

    Oh that's right, your stated FIRST priority is to get Obama out of office.
    Bunch of morons put in office AGAIN by fickle morons.

    November 19, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. Take America Back from the Libs

    This information is certainly not surprising; why? Because of the "deceptive" reporting of CNN/NBC/CBS/ABC.....they have all followed the Liberal Democratic talking points which reverbs the sound that the Republicans won some but the Dems are still in control.....after all; isn't that exactly what Obambi, Pelosi, and Reid are saying????
    Democrats: The Party of DECEPTION! The Obambi White House: The WH of DECEPTION!

    November 19, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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