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. The REAL Truth...

    Watching the GOP actively try to make a complete failure of this POTUS for the last 5 yrs has caused me much grief. I don't think Obama's the best thing since sliced bread (by any means), but to watch the vitriol, meanness, divisive approach the GOP has taken with this POTUS since 2009, their complete refusal to DO ANYTHING to move this country forward, and their use of rw media to disseminate talking points and misinformation is absolutely disgusting. If by some miracle the GOP wins the Presidency in 2016, watch out. The Dem's will do the same to that POTUS as the GOP has done to this one – in spades. Be careful what you wish for...

    November 26, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Bill, NY

    I say let them finish the job George Bush started and we can really become a third or fourth world country.

    November 26, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Brandon

    @ haydenyates "CNN...an extension of right wing interests". LOL, where the hell have you been? So it is now a right wing organization because it is reporting negatively about the Democratic party? You are hilarious.

    November 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -------------------------
    Embracing the nickname "Obamacare" was a major mistake. "Obamacare" was something created by the right wing that included several lies, such as death panels. By embracing the phrase, the President granted credibility to all of the lies.

    Recent polling has shown that significant numbers of people like the Affordable Care Act, while simultaneously disliking Obamacare. They don't even realize that they are one and the same. If the President is distancing himself from using the term "Obamacare", then that corrects a major mistake that he never should have made.

    November 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. J Evans

    "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.
    =====================================
    I would edit Mr. Holland's statement and tell him it is unpopular among those who Obamacare is hurting! We lost a very good insurance plan through my husband's employer. Our only choice for next year is a higher premium plan (double the premium) with much less coverage (70/30 plan with $10,000 family deductible-we used to have a $30 co-pay for doctor's visits, now it's 30%; ER is 30% after deductible, it used to be $200 co-pay with no deductible), or an extremely higher premium plan (triple the premium) with close to the same coverage we lost.

    We have opted for the one with the extremely high premium because we are afraid to go with the lower coverage plan. NOTE, these are employer provided plans. Obamacare is HURTING many of us. THAT is why we do not like it!!! We are VERY concerned with our health insurance coverage, or lack thereof, due to this law.

    November 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Haskel Pippin

    @ Profio: The shutdown that I assume you're referring to was a result of the Republicans wanting to delay funding the ACA for a year. it was Obama who refused to negotiate that one issue in his budget proposal – and instead opted to shutdown the government – then blame the Republicans for it. So what was it that you were saying about an IQ test?

    November 26, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Steve

    VERY TRUE: I have actually posted similar things many times about the GOP. People don't realize how rich the rich really are. 93% of this nations wealth is held by the top 20% that hold everyone else down. The rest of us 80% live on 7% of this nations income. It's amazing that people are so blind. Our government is bought and paid for.

    The GOP held office for 12 years during the great depression. Democrats pulled it out over the next 20 years. The GOP held the white house and congress for the 2000-2002 to 2008 Great Recession. Bush had time for tax cuts for himself but not time to repeal Roe V. Wade on abortion. Funny how that works when he held it all.

    November 26, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Malory Archer

    southerngent

    To all you liberals who keep posting about republicans being only for the rich, at what point does rich begin?

    How much do you want to take from them, 50% 90%.

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

    My husband and I barely break $100k, but between federal & social security taxes, our tax rate is 25%. So, I suppose I'd prefer those making more than us to be subject to the same rate instead of the 15% the majority of the 1% pay – the 12% rate the 2012 also-ran paid.

    November 26, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Atul C

    Most prosperous time in last several decades for Americans was between 1996 and 2005 during which GOP controlled the congress. If you're not biased and racist, you will think rationally. Yes, GOP has to do lot of work among minorities but you have to also understand, GOP has given real recognition to minorities starting from Colin Powell, Condi Rice etc, to name a few. GOP wants people to be empowered, their own boss whereas democrats want to be under welfare system. If you're working class person, you know that $1000 doesn't do anything for the family.

    Hope media plays fairly instead of being anti conservative.

    November 26, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Steve

    The GOP held office for 12 years during the great depression. Democrats pulled it out over the next 20 years. The GOP held the white house and congress for the 2000-2002 to 2008 Great Recession. Bush had time for tax cuts for himself but not time to repeal Roe V. Wade on abortion. Funny how that works when he held it all.

    November 26, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  11. Amanda

    This isn't much of a surprise. The Pres has lied to us repeatedly and botched everything he has touched. You get to keep your health plans. This is NOT a tax. The movie caused the Benghazi attack. Iran is our friend. The IRS did not target conservatives. Oh, that's not true. Sorry, I don't know anything about anything, so it's not my fault. Riiiiiiight.

    November 26, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Rick

    Obama's crowning achievement will be the undoing of liberalism. Let's go back to the health system run by private enterprise. Tort reform and the ability to shop health insurance across state lines would be a good start. A wholesale takover of "our" health care system by politicians is never what the people of this country wanted.

    November 26, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. albie

    Hey republicans, i am a moderate, and I would consider voting republican next election IF, you dont lean towards religion too much and of course as long as you don't have a candidate that is too far right like Ryan or Palin - go a bit more moderate and you will scoop up people like me this next election

    November 26, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  14. El Warbo Grande

    @Joe A

    I'm not sure I'm clear on what you're trying to say. Are you seriously criticizing Republicans for not having a solution to the problem of people losing their insurance that OBAMA CAUSED?! And yes, Republicans did have a solution: Delay the mandeate. You know, that think Republicans tried to urge Democrats to do but they wouldn't so then the government shut down and we nearly went into defaut. You remember that, right?

    November 26, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Los

    The only people benefiting from Obama care a re share steak holders in insurance companies. Democrats are stealing from the middle class and young people to help who? Absolutely no one, because deductibles and copays have risen astronomicaly hight for individuals with or without pre conditions. Essentially all obamacare is doing is expanding medicaid. And what the hell is Democrats fixation with insurance? Insurance is not analogous to medical treatment. If you want to give access to doctors to every American open up state run hospitals which are free, that is what we have had in Louisiana for decades until Bobby Jindal destroyed the system. However, lets cut the middle man out and open up state hospitals that are sovereign immunity from negligent suits and have all medical students do their residencies there.

    November 26, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Joe

    Voting for a Democrat is like committing suicide. Obama the Great Failure is a disaster.

    November 26, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Gary

    Obama is not the reason people are loosing their insurance. Obama is not the reason people are loosing their doctors. Obama is not the reason people are getting hours cut to 39 a week to avoid paying employees insurance. There is no one person cause to the issue. It's called corporate greed. That's right. Corporations run this country now. If you think the 3 legislative branches are still leading then let me introduce you to the most powerful branch of our government .. Corporations. How many times have you heard big oil gets subsidies? How many times has it been brought to your attention that medical expenses have gone through the roof? There are several examples. None I repeat None of the citizens of this country will be free much longer. You are just a marketing number now and at best a member of a poll.

    November 26, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Churn O'bill

    It's all a game of ping pong. Only one side is funded by billionaires and religious fundamentalists, and serves both masters. Heck, if you are a billionaire do you really have to worry about abiding by the rules you fund to appease the fundamentalist base? Not really, they've got plenty of awesome doctors in Europe, and you own a few homes there. If you are a religious fundamentalist, well you are already pretty open to worthless suggestion, so those shiny campaigns financed by billionaires do look pretty slick.

    November 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. dwaff13

    I apologize for being a little off the subject, but so many articles, like this one, just glibly mention in passing that Obama is out raising money. Does no one else see the problem with our president spending billions of dollars to drag a huge retinue around the country -most of them in the luxury of Air Force One – and using his on-the-job time to raise money for the Democratic Party? What he's doing, since his salary and expenses all come from taxpayer dollars, is force every citizen in the country to contribute to the Democratic Party, when their expectations are that those dollars are being used to govern our country.

    November 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. NameEdoggy

    Hey Kappla, thank you for serving our country. Remember the previous administration (bush) cut funds to assist our service members. Is that what you want again. Vote GOP

    November 26, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. CALiberal

    And next month some breeze will come along and change the polls again.

    November 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  22. Silence DoGood

    @Abbey "When the cancellations hit in the millions..."

    You do know that is how it was before ACA right? Insurance companies cancelled people by the millions when they got too sick or had reached a limit or had a preexisting condition discovered.

    My insurance is good, is staying good, and I don't worry about being cancelled. Thank you Mr. President. More people on the positive side need to speak up, instead of listening to lies. Who was made the Czar of Death Panels BTW? Oh that's right, it was a lie.

    November 26, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    You have to be an idiot to let website glitches get in the way of voting for Democrats who've done so much for our nation. Compared to the repubs, who spend day and night spreading fear, anger, hatred and lies, not to mention have absolutely NO record of achievement to run on (unless you think economic, military and foreign policies that are all PROVEN FAILURES is a good thing).

    Voting for a repub is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders – and the folks who do have about as much brains as a chicken.

    November 26, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Ron

    We voted for Obama, but now his hidden agenda is apparent and we won't be supporting his party's extreme taxing and burdening of the Middle Class in order so he can support generational welfare recipients. Obama has been lying about almost everything. People are now finding out that 'the rich' aren't paying a single penny for Obamacare, most people's rates will almost double once their plan gets cancelled. And those tax credits don't even begin to cover the costs Obama is forcing on the Middle Class.

    November 26, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Ted Brooks

    Gah! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    It must be really bad if CNN is reporting a GOP edge….

    November 26, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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