November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
1 year 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. NameGoose

    Never vote for a democrat again. Democrat's take from the hard working
    middle class and give only to the non-working lower class. Democrat's
    are nothing but liar's. Obama and his administration are nothing but liar's.
    Maybe we can save our country from failing by voting for Republican's in
    the up coming elections.

    November 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  2. Fire

    Obama administration says 80% of the Government healthcare website will be working by end of November and that's wonderful and a great percentage. Yet, 85% of Americans had healthcare insurance and that was just not good enough. So now there's major disruption in our healthcare insurance and looks like 60% or more won't be insured. If you think the insurance is a problem just wait till you find out what they have do to the healthcare part... Total B.S. everywhere so be prepared.

    November 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. trofeo

    It says a lot about the intelligence of the American people. After congress tries to take down the economy everybody gets amnesia. I say an IQ test should be required to vote.

    November 26, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Tuckersdad

    One bunch is not fit to govern, and the other bunch just can't govern. I think they may be interchangeable, so yes, they're all bums. We should pick legislators like jury duty – all take a turn, and keep the money out of our government.

    November 26, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  5. Tom

    There is no more meaningless news than a political poll taken a year before the next election.

    November 26, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  6. BlackSaint

    Obama is a fraud. His resume is a fraud. His executive experience is a fraud. His knowledge of free market economics is a fraud. His rise to power is a fraud. His qualifications to be president is fraud. His background is a fraud. His ability to lead is a fraud. His intelligence is a fraud.

    His lies about Obamacare to get re-elected is the single biggest fraud even perpetrated on the American public by anyone public or private!

    Everything built on the foundation of a lie is a lie.

    November 26, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Greg Campbell

    Obama, it really isn't the botched rollout, it is the lie you told and the fact that insurance costs have skyrocketed for the middle class

    November 26, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. dan

    These dems will bring up anything and everything to change the subject. I see it on this thread. Thanks CNN, you haven't been totally left wing these last few months. Maybe you are learning alientating half of America with your reporting doesn't work.

    November 26, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. unretired05

    Are they saying a vote for the GOP is an admission of memory loss?

    November 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. $$$$

    Poll results like this are probably the reason that Harry Reid went with the nuclear option. He knows the days ofa Democratic majority in the Senate are numbered and they will lose more seats in the House. The only question is will Democrats revolt and throw Obama and Obamacare under the bus to save their own skins.

    November 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. Malory Archer

    Never vote for a rethug again. Rethugs take from the hard working
    middle class and give only to the non-working 1%. Rethugsare nothing but liar's (remember their 2010 campaign mantra: jobs, jobs, jobs?).
    Rethugs are nothing but liar's.
    Maybe we can save our country from failing by voting our ALL rethugs in the house & senate in
    the up coming elections.

    November 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. Juan Jiminez

    Giving healthcare to the poor at the expense of 140 million people will never work. Keep your socialist hands out of my pocket book! Good luck trying to sell that!

    November 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. KlintzCNN

    Simple solution: Don't vote "Democrat" or "Republican."

    There are other political parties and independents out there. Go research them and see if they fit your ideals.

    Too many people blindly vote "Democrat" or "Republican" because that's all they know. Time to get to know other people!

    November 26, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. PM

    Wake the heck up people! The Republican's only care about the rich and big corporate interest. If you are middle class or poor who support these clowns, you are an idiot who votes against their best interest!

    November 26, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Robert White

    The problem with a generic poll is that most people support one party or another, but most support their own Congress person. With the Administration's intransigence on the Affordable Care Act, people are being hurt, and those people will not be voting for anyone who either voted for or signed the Bill. The second is easy, as Obama will not run again, but for many Democrat Senators, it may already be too late. With five million people losing coverage and climbing, that is five million votes lost. With those actually renewing, but facing a 41% increase in premiums and out of pocket expense, the odds of even this group, several hundred million strong, supporting someone who did this is nil.

    November 26, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. ralph

    Not a problem, there is 11 months for republicans to say some more incredibly stupid things about women, rape, and abortion.

    They will find a way to blow this.

    November 26, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Weston Liveit

    Either you vote for extremism or you vote for incompetence. We the people are in some real dire straights. We need a viable third party now.

    November 26, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Gail MD
    Yea ! Finally ! FIRST ORDER of Business: Repeal Obamacare !
    --------------------------------
    Don't be short sighted. Do you know what would happen if you do that? Some Republicans have grumbled about keeping some of the Patient Protections, like letting kids stay on until age 26, no lifetime limits, and not being turned down for pre-existing conditions. If they get rid of the individual lmandate, do you have any idea what would happen to premiums and deductibles? I cannot imagine how high they will go, but health care coverage will almost certainly be unaffordable and well beyond the reach of teh average middle class family of four making $50,000 per year.

    November 26, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. Goby Dillis

    The sentiment has little to do with obamacare and the GOP doesn't have any advantage. Stop with this kind of garbage please. I can think of several reasons that the democrats have lost support and the obamacare fiasco is the smallest. I really can't see any improvement coming out of the republicans either. I guess we will continue our extraordinary slide to ruin.

    November 26, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  20. Jeff

    All Republicans have to do is sit down and shut up for a year to have a great shot at this election.

    In all likelihood, the Democrats will still have an advantage come next November, as I'm sure that will not happen.

    November 26, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. Mete Kroo

    The one that should be voted off in 2014 is the one who scored 9% of the poll who are GOPs in the congress. Dems poll is much better than that of the GOPs. So why you think the Dems lose the 2014 election? I don't understand that. Please

    November 26, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  22. Bigdoglv

    It's not about the botched rollout, it's about lack of honesty. Oh wait, not being informed. It is a trust issue.

    November 26, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  23. GrigLager

    You mean Obamacare and the Filibuster uproar.

    November 26, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. James

    It is not true, Americans are not that stupid.

    November 26, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. monbois

    2014 is still a long, long way off, in political terms, and the 2014 elections a light year away. Plenty of time to fix a stupid website and remind Americans of the financial mess the Republicans got us into when they caused the recession with their greed, the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in pointless wars, again spurred on by greedy war-mongers and war profiteers, and the crazy zealots in the Tea Party who want to turn the US into an uneducated third-world Christian slum.

    November 26, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
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