November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
11 months ago

CNN/ORC poll: Democrats lose 2014 edge following Obamacare uproar

Washington (CNN) – What a difference a month makes.

A new CNN/ORC International poll indicates a dramatic turnaround in the battle for control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.

Democrats a month ago held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot, which asked respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

That result came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling.

But the Democratic lead has disappeared. A new CNN/ORC poll indicates the GOP now holds a 49%-47% edge.

The new survey was conducted last week and released Tuesday.

The 10-point swing follows a political uproar over Obamacare, which included the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov and controversy over insurance policy cancelations due primarily to the new health law.

The turnaround in the CNN/ORC poll follows similar shifts in recent national surveys from Quinnipiac University and Fox News.

At a news conference two weeks ago, President Barack Obama acknowledged that problems plaguing the startup of the new healthcare law could hurt Democrats.

"There is no doubt that our failure to rollout the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin," Obama said.

The CNN/ORC poll, released as the President makes a West Coast campaign fundraising swing on behalf of fellow Democrats, indicates both parties making gains within their base.

"It looks like the biggest shifts toward the Republicans came among white voters, higher-income Americans, and people who live in rural areas, while Democrats have gained strength in the past month among some of their natural constituencies, such as non-white voters and lower-income Americans," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"If those patterns persist into 2014, it may indicate that Obamacare is popular among those who it was designed to help the most, but unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care," Holland said.

Republicans currently have a 17-seat advantage in the U.S. House with the Democrats holding a 55-45 majority in the Senate.

While the generic ballot question is one of the most commonly used indicators when it comes to the battle for Congress, the poll results are a long way from predicting what will happen next November.

"There is just under a year to go before any votes are actually cast and the 'generic ballot' question is not necessarily a good predictor of the actual outcome of 435 separate elections," Holland cautions.

"A year before the 2010 midterms, for example, the Democrats held a six-point lead on the generic ballot but the GOP wound up regaining control of the House in that election cycle, thanks to an historic 63-seat pickup," he said.

The poll was conducted November 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans, including 749 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


Filed under: 2014 • CNN/ORC poll • Congress
soundoff (885 Responses)
  1. jinx9to88

    @ larry
    Everyone that knows a Democrat should spit in their face for what they have done.

    -------

    Or spit in the Republican face for what they HAVENT done with Congress 9% approval rating. LMAO!!

    November 26, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. Coming Back To Your Senses

    Once people fully realize, between now and election time, that voting for Republicans means severe CUTS in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, dirtier water to drink, more environmental pollution, less education, no food stamps for needy families, Big Banks taking the advantage, plus the fact that you can't change the spots on a leopard as they will continue to push severely for the Wealthy who don't need the help at all, then they will realize who they truly need to be Loyal to - the DEMOCRATS!! Obamacare is just one item that is now under fix and that will ultimately help millions! That should not sway people's minds that much to forgo all else that truly matters to them such as the aforementioned items and More. They will awaken from their temporary dream and begin to come back to their senses soon enough when they see the real difference!

    November 26, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  3. Joan

    Everyone should read the NBC article called "The Do Nothing Congress on track for one of the least productive ever". It is very interesting and informative and should illustrate to people just how hard it has been for this administration to get anything done considering the mammoth opposition they have faced. It is unprecedented. Why?

    November 26, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  4. Mike

    Until they open their mouths....

    November 26, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  5. ST

    Fine there are changes within only one month. How many months left to Nov. 2014? Does this poll assure us that they won't be any changes till then? It is all about fantasies.

    November 26, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  6. jinx9to88

    @ Gail MD
    Yea ! Finally ! FIRST ORDER of Business: Repeal Obamacare !

    ----–

    I wouldn't hold your breathe. You do realize there is another year before midterm, right?

    November 26, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. clarencewhorley

    Americans realizing that just because Obama wishes economic theories like aupply and demand didn't exist doesn't make it so.

    Obama promised we would all get better healthcare for less money, its absurd that anyone believed it. Now the lie is there for all to see.

    He basically sold a fantasy that we can all be skateboarding and work 30 hours a week doing what we want and everyone will live in a mansion and be rich.

    November 26, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  8. jinx9to88

    @ sweeper111
    Headline should read:
    "Obama squanders Democrats advantage with incompetent ACA rollout".

    ----–

    Kinda like Bush's Medicare part D right? Don't tell me you forgot about that little screwup. The same issues Obamacare is having, Medicare part D had but you wouldn't hear that fact watching Fox news.

    November 26, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  9. Nick

    I don't see how any informed voter can vote Democrat. You may not like Republicans, but they at least tell you what they believe. Democrats tell you what you want to hear and then pull a bait-and-switch. Everything in the liberal agenda is accomplished through coercion.

    November 26, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  10. DaveNH

    Unfortunately they probably do. People have short memories and will forget about the blind obstruction of any efforts to solve problems affecting the country. They offer no solutions of their own, they just criticize.

    November 26, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    Jim Jimson

    So – reading the analysis above, Obama is supported by poor non-white people whereas Republicans get support from people who are successful and earn a living wage? Hmm is there a pattern here?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    What's even more curious is those blue "librul" states are "giver" states, meaning they pay more into the federal government than they receive in assistance, and those red "conservative" states are "taker" states, meaning they receive far more in assistance from the federal government than they pay in. How is it possible that the "libruls" are able to do that for the "conservatives" if the "libruls" & democrats are all poor?

    November 26, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  12. McDoud

    Obamacare will have positive effect on polls once it gets on its feet. The GOP has nothing to offer.

    November 26, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. pchelp, Juneau, AK

    Americans are idiots. Putting the GOP in control of both houses of Congress is a certain way to wreck this country. Only the rich will survive-and we'll have nobody to blame but ourselves. The GOP has already come out & plainly said they despise the middle-class, electing a party that despises you is a definite sign of idiocy. We're idiots.

    November 26, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  14. Jerry

    The author Paul Steinhouser must be polling his own family members because he's just another CNN hopeful conservative corespondent. There's a few oft hem floating around here. They're quite easy to spot. Just take a look at his post history to see that all he cares about are conservative issues such as Dick Cheney's daughters getting their own reality show, and 2012 polls showing that Obamacare cost the president reelection.This guy is a shill spouting drivel.

    November 26, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. Jimmyjam048

    Still doesn't change the fact that most Republians don't care about oir country and are willing to resort to treason to KEEP the poor, poor.
    This is what creates a drain on the rest of us.
    Lest we forget, what GW Bush and his cronies did to our economy. The wealthiest Americans STILL made money while the middle class almost disappeared.
    Remember next November.

    November 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  16. jason

    Why dont you libs call it Obamacare anymore????? Perhaps even you have now realized Obama doesnt really care lmfao.... Idiots

    November 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  17. noone

    I wish everyone would just stop voting for (D)olts and (R)ubes. But, I guess that's what you get when less than half the population even bothers to vote and most of the people who do vote are simply sheep; incapable of independent thought.

    November 26, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. sickofitall

    headline should have been "duh"

    November 26, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. dan

    Dems or Reps, it makes no difference. Same crap, different mouth it's spewing from...

    November 26, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  20. JoeB

    I find it ironic that some people on this board are blaming congress. Remember that Obama had the majority the first two years in both houses and only completed ACA in the wrong way I might add. Let's put the blame where it really belongs, it belongs with Obama, Reid and pelosi. Everytime the house has passed a bill, the senate has killed the bills. That is controlled by dems and if it passes the senate, our loser president threatened to veto the bill.

    I and many Americans cannot wait until the mid-terms. It's time to send all the dem criminal packing. It's better to have nothing done, then the horrible ACA bill that is now putting Americans at risk. The dems basically hurt themselves. I can't stand either party and that is why I'm an independent. I say get rid of both parties and the extreme right and left.

    November 26, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  21. Sim Namore

    Ah. Well. The Repugnants should prepare themselves to confront a democratic system of government. Ever hear of filibuster, boys? Never in the history of the U S has a party stood as impediment to the will of the people so thoroughly as this last group of Repugnants. Klansmen in Armani. They have wrecked the economy and turned the Affordable Care Act into a joke–determined as they have been to prevent the will of the majority from b3ing expressed. I suppose we should have gone with the corporate-raiding Mormon bishop–then we could all be living in the park. In boxes.

    November 26, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  22. MTATL67

    How easy the press forgets it's own humiliation. They all but declared Romney president elect in 2012.

    November 26, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    Coming Back To Your Senses

    Once people fully realize, between now and election time, that voting for Republicans means severe CUTS in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, dirtier water to drink, more environmental pollution, less education, no food stamps for needy families, Big Banks taking the advantage, plus the fact that you can't change the spots on a leopard as they will continue to push severely for the Wealthy who don't need the help at all.....

    ++++++++++

    It'll be too late to throw the car into reverse and undo the damage, and they will have sealed their own fates.

    November 26, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. JNorthrop

    "If those patterns persist into 2014, it may indicate that Obamacare is popular among those who it was designed to help the most, but unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care," Holland said.

    The last clause should read "but unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally more concerned with paying for not only their own care, but also for the care of those with whom Obamacare is most popular."

    November 26, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  25. American Worker

    So now CNN is positioning the DNC as the underdogs.

    Don't be fooled.
    The Obama campaign machine 'Organizing for America' will still get their loyalist and subjects to the polls.

    November 26, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
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