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. Erick Holmes

    People that are smart know the Tea Party activists and Republican Party's lying. If you want to live in a shack like poor people, vote Republican.

    November 26, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Name

    @cedar rapids

    "I like the term Obamacare" – BO
    "We passed Obambcare...yeah, I like the term, we passed it, because I do care." – BO

    -----------
    ' Even Obama will not call it Obamacare any more. '

    It was the repubs that called it Obamacare, not Obama.

    November 26, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Tom

    I see the fear in the comments. No one party control makes the fascists angry.

    November 26, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. ECassious2

    This polls wont hold out. It will actually be worse for the Democrats when the actual election takes place. The ACA problems are only beginning, and the Presidents plan for Iran is going to put him in another battle with his own party. The experiment may be close to over.

    November 26, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Dev

    I have noticed a distinct shift in CNN towards republican party in past few months.

    November 26, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Tom

    I see the fear in the comments. No one party control makes the fascists angry.

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

    I know right? But the fascist rethugs had better get used to it because it'll be a long time before they're "in control" again.

    November 26, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  7. Peter

    What a difference a month makes.

    Yes.

    The American public swings all over the place based on the event of the day.

    It is a long way until November 2014.

    More swings are coming.

    Bank on it.

    November 26, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Jeb

    The GOP is going to shut down the government again in February so the polls will change.

    November 26, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Liberals hate the Bill of Rights

    Senate Democrats are gonna regret using the "nuclear option" now....

    November 26, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Jerry

    This poll will drive the dems and liberals crazy.

    November 26, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. TeaParty4Life

    Anyone who would continue to vote democrat after being lied to not once, not, twice, heck it's not worth even counting how many times...any way, u need ur head checked.

    November 26, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. over65havingfun

    the voters have the advantage, surely newsmakers would lean toward the future. I think bezo has the money to buy CNN too.

    November 26, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. fred mertz

    umm, the repubs control the election machinery in most states, so they are the ballot-stuffers....

    November 26, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Plenty of time for the Republicans to make even the most amnesiac and fickle of the American electorate remember exactly why it is that Republicans are not to be trusted, don't care the snap of two fingers for middle-classers of any color, want to interfere with women's reproductive rights, and are in office to ensure that they take care of their wealthy benefactors and themselves only.
    Plenty of time.
    Don't pop the champagne quite yet.....

    November 26, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. mcp123

    "the ballot-stuffing, cheating, and voting dead democrats"

    What was it ... less than one percent reported voter fraud in the last election? Republican plan... make it more difficult for anyone to vote. Especially minorities.

    Republican idea... drug test welfare recipients... spend hundreds of dollars a person to test everyone and find that the vast majority really need the benefits and aren't buying drugs with them.

    Republican plan... spend trillions to destroy/rebuild Iraq... find out that they never had restarted their WMD program after the first Gulf War.

    List of failures grows... the only problem we have is a website which can be fixed. The odds are against republicans because demographics are changing.

    November 26, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. NameEdoggy

    Can anyone believe a CNN is poll which is politically motivated to help the GOP in any way possible. The next election should prove otherwise.

    November 26, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. Honestee

    This is just so laughable I did not even bother to read the entire article. All I have to say is "green eggs and ham". If folks are willing to vote for these nut jobs, Corporate Goons, they deserve the Military, fascist regime they want to turn to U.S. into. V

    November 26, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's amazing to me how the have nots support the haves to have more and they continue to have less. Politicians depend on the ignorant and misinformed and this recent poll indicates exactly that.

    November 26, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Terry B

    Seems ridiculous to allow a horrible bunch of Republican politicians to benefit from the errors that the ACA has caused in its beginning. The GOP is a socially repugnant party. This is a time to stand up against fascism and not allow it to win over the decency of normal people.

    November 26, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Eric

    I understand how polling works, but regardless of what the outcomes are just have a hard time believing that polling 843 people in a country of 300 million is really reflective of what people think. That is why they couch it later saying that these polls don't always reflect what will happen in an election. Just something else for the media to over-hype. Last month they were anti-Republican, this month it is fashionable to be against Obama. The winds will change again next month when the budget and debt ceiling come back into play.

    November 26, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Borderless

    ...until they blow it.

    November 26, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Garrett from Texas

    Name

    @cedar rapids

    "I like the term Obamacare" – BO
    "We passed Obambcare...yeah, I like the term, we passed it, because I do care." – BO

    ---–
    ' Even Obama will not call it Obamacare any more. '

    It was the repubs that called it Obamacare, not Obama.

    --------

    Yet at one point he decided to take pride in the name as an effort to disarm the Republican term. Now he has chosen to own it...

    ...or did. Now he's calling it the Affordable Care Act.

    If the man who orchestrated the thing is distancing himself from it, be concerned.

    November 26, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. JimmyCarterSaysYes

    Ahh bring on the hate repubs! At least the present adminstration has brought back some respect from our friends acroos the globe, unlike Bush and his cronies. Let's not forget that Bush's approval rating dropped from 98% to 10% by the end of his presidency

    November 26, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. Mary Dancy

    I hope and pray that Democrats do no listen to the polls. No matter what President Obama does or does not do, he is wrong. If he says the world is round the Republicans will say it is square. All President Obama wants to do is to keep the people of the United States healthy and safe. For the Republicans that is too much to ask for. The Republicans would rather see us at war with the small countries of the world, and only the rich survive..

    November 26, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. mcp123

    "Record on food stamps, record on SSI disability, record in poverty, highest black unemployment in generations, debt doubled, highest deficits in history"

    Food stamps / SSI / Poverty all increased because of the recession which started under Bush. Don't try to rewrite history... no one is going to forget that.

    Did you expect him to be able to fix unemployment for blacks in just eight years? There are many reason young black people are unemployed not just the fact that in some areas they live there really aren't decent jobs.
    The manufacturing base left long ago... and the jobs that are left don't pay all that well.

    However unemployment has gone down and the situation is continuing to improve.

    November 26, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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