November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
5 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. Malory Archer

    Mike

    It's not about a stupid website! It's about millions of Americans having their JUNK insurance policies THAT DON’T COVER ANYTHING cancelled (yeah, because that NEVER happened prior to the passage for the ACA when someone got sick or injured and actually needed to use their benefits). But don't expect CNN to cover that angle.

    FIFY.

    November 26, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  2. Bob

    Not to worry, once again, republicans will screw up this opportunity, just like they have every other.

    November 26, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  3. Barry G.

    That's good news for the top 1%–or should I say for the top .01%!

    But then again, given that corporations and the rich can buy the support they need in Washington, D.C., with lobbyists, it doesn't matter who's in office or which party; the rich rule.

    Of couse that's not good for the middle class and poor!

    November 26, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. Dave

    Ain't seen nothing yet folks. Wait until the employer mandate kicks in. Individual plan cancellations will look small in comparison.

    November 26, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. Jon

    There's still, however, enough time before the next election for another government shutdown and another GOP war on women to turn the fickle voters in the other direction.

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

    Are you kidding? Report on the weather. It is as reliable as your polls. I like the mention of Medicare Part D. That rollout was a nightmare. Forgotten now. Please remember the words of Hubert Humphrey: "It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped." If we want to elect a moral, or more moral government, we will vote Dem in 2014.

    November 26, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  7. Hector Slagg

    Fiscal Responsibility is something the country needs weather you are a democrat or republican. The Liberal road we are headed down after 100 years of big social policies is a glaring failure. Obama Care is just another step in the wrong direction.

    November 26, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. Apex301

    Making up stuff and repeating it over and over does little to help this country. This poll is not supported, just like the previous one that showed the Dems in the lead. Garbage polls are just that.

    When I hear a FAKE "this is what it is gonna cost me!" statement about Obamacare, I say... "lets look that up together". That claim of $800-900 a month becomes $250 and has better coverage than their current plan. SURPRISE! Most of those claims are GOP trolls that have never even been to the website, and people believe the GOP without fact checking.

    November 26, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. gopsucks

    The polls....said that about President Obama and mitt 2012 elections. ..they said mitt was a head in the polls.

    November 26, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Johnny T

    The mid-term elections are one year away. In October of 2014 Obama will give away free cash, free food, free smart phones, free gas, and free health care to the "less fortunate" in swing states. Plus, the highest turnout of dead people ever to vote in an election will clinch it for the Socialcrats. Dems win big.

    November 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. You ain't seen nothing yet!

    Wait until the masses who are currently working get kicked off their Healtcare plans! This Prez. is going to become even more of a lame duck.

    November 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Yeah. Funny how those who will never need or use Obamacare are the folks complaining the loudest.

    November 26, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  13. Malory Archer

    I don't see how any informed voter can vote Rethug. You may not like Dems, but they at least have the best interests of Americans in mind. Rethugs tell you what you want to hear and then pull a bait-and-switch (remember their 2010 campaign mantra: jobs, jobs, jobs?). Everything in the neocon agenda is accomplished through cutting taxes for the top 1%, with the end result being the continued dismantling programs and services that help everyone who ISN'T in the top 1% while they ship jobs with livable wages to the other side of the planet and our infrastructure falls apart around us.

    November 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  14. DirtyHeat

    @Coming Back to Your Senses
    "they will continue to push severely for the Wealthy who don't need the help at all"

    Have you notice how the stock market has reached record highs under Obama? Hmmm now who benefits the most from that? I'll give you a hint, it's not the poor or the middle class.

    November 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  15. cam

    The only reason why the Democrats had the upper hand in the first place was due to state run media. They couldn't hide the Obamacare debacle from the people.

    November 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Agnostickids

    Right. EVERYBODY in the country will forget about the GOP forced shutdown in 2014 just because the media says so. LOL!

    November 26, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  17. Don C

    Who said that Obamacare was going to be great? Pretty much only Democrats.

    Who predicted that it would be a big disaster for the American people? Pretty much all Conservatives.

    Who has been right on this maybe the most important issue of our time?

    Who are you voting for in 2014?

    November 26, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  18. David

    Obamacare is a disaster, even as someone who knew it was going to be flawed and hurt more people than it helped i never could have guess it would be this big of a nightmare already. when the employer mandate kicks in after the 2014 elections watch for things to get worse unfortunately. i hate the republican party but at least they were trying to prevent this, even if it was for selfish reasons.

    November 26, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Its people like Josh who say such stupid statements like "Its because obamacare effects people. The government shut down effected no one."

    Do I need say more...these republicants will deny that anything they do has negative side effects...both sides will manipulate the public on their agendas...its how politics works...at least in my world.

    November 26, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. jpmichigan

    In order to provide for the minority, one has taken from the majority. Even though part of the majority, covers mostly the middle class. So now instead of 4+ million without healthcare, the people that we placed in office to represent the American people will now have 10+ million without healthcare. I see something wrong with this picture, don't you. The one thing the government can't take away is our choice to choose who will be the voice of the American people , not the voice of political parities. American people have ALL the POWER, POWER OF THE VOTING BOOTH. So use it wisely, and don't be fooled by all the rhetoric, spin and distortion, your future, your children and grand children future depend on your wisdom now.

    November 26, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  21. texasnotea

    We almost lost America in 2008 because of really bad republican policies.... Let's vote them in again and let them finish us off

    November 26, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. JohnRJohnson

    The so-called "edge" which Republicans might currently have will dematerialize as soon as they start trying to shut down the government or raise the debt ceiling again because they refuse to increase taxes 1¢ on the wealthiest Americans and corporations making record level profits. I can't wait for the 2014 elections. The turnout by Democrats in this mid-term election is going to set records and bury the GOP.

    November 26, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. conrad

    Republicans are still what they are and they won't be gaining any ground when voting time comes around.

    November 26, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. JohnRJohnson

    The so-called "edge" which Republicans currently have will dematerialize as soon as they start trying to shut down the government or refuse to raise the debt ceiling again because they refuse to increase taxes 1¢ on the wealthiest Americans and corporations making record level profits. I can't wait for the 2014 elections. The turnout by Democrats in this mid-term election is going to set records and bury the GOP.

    November 26, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. Joe NYer

    I'm not branding either party-well, yes I am-but I don't see how ANYONE who's been ripped off by the ObamaCare scam can possibly cast a vote for the Democratic party ever again. It's not about saving us or rescuing us. It's about CONTROLLING us! Liberals are emotionally deranged control freaks who con the 'masses" into voting out of panic and hysteria. That bird has flown and reality is seeping in. Republicans WILL take the Senate and retain the House in 2014. Obama? He can play golf for the next three years and Washington won't miss him.

    November 26, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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