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. samstewartsam

    I thought the shutdown was going to destroy the GOP. What say you liberal clowns??

    November 26, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  2. Joan

    The truth will come out before the elections!!!! Onward Obama!!

    November 26, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  3. TAXPAYER

    ""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." It should say "unpopular among the group of voters who have to pay for OBAMACARE"

    November 26, 2013 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  4. oldsarg

    The GOP doesn't "hold" an advantage. The Democrats have "hurt" the American people. The Democrats passed a law that they had never read and did so not to help the American people but to "win" at all costs and now they will pay the cost. Millions upon millions of Americans are losing their health insurance and soon to be followed to 10's of millions when the corporate extension of one year runs out. No, this was not a simple "mistake" on the democrats part. This was letting the people hurt to gain power. Americans don't care for that too much and have historically thrown bums such as this out. They will be lucky to escape being fared and feathered. . .

    November 26, 2013 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  5. Jerry

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

    Democrats SHOULD be on edge, for sure!!! I am a life-long Democrat, but this is the best news I have heard in a long,long while. My fellow Democrats are acting like lemmings following the "Clueless One", Bobble Head Pelosi and Senile Reid over the cliff.

    November 26, 2013 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  6. SBM

    Republicans will campaign on the fact that they were right about Obama care and shutting down the govt was the right thing to do, and that makes sense, just like ,Romney saying things are not better 4 years later made no sense...

    November 26, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  7. Cindy

    AHHHHHH, it's only an early poll. A lot can happen between now and a year from now. No surprise in the numbers though as the GOP had warned and warned about this happening and tried everything to stop it including a partial govt. shutdown.

    Think that shutdown was expensive.......wait till you see what this debacle costs over time and to whom it costs.......

    November 26, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  8. dalene44

    The Democrats seem to have showcased their incompetence and corruption by imposing Obamacare.

    November 26, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  9. Don321

    LOL, until they open their mouths.

    November 26, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  10. hubert39

    Yes, Obamacare It's a mess. But in a few months it will be straighten out. It should be back up to around 56% to 44%. Or even higher.
    Then the radical right wing GOP will start again telling their lies, and spewing hate.

    November 26, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  11. John

    Its more like; the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies hold the advantage in 2014 midterms. And of course the dearly beloved lobbyists pain in millions by GOP cronies like The Koch brothers. You jokers think the majority of Americans listen to the media and both parties. Americans see and listen to the truth. The majority doesn't buy the hype no matter what. That's why people like Obama win the elections. Hello!

    November 26, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  12. mb2010a

    Yeah...and the polls all predicted that Romney was going to win in 2012.

    November 26, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  13. dnokc

    It's about time the 53% woke up! This poll must be correct, or Harry Reid would not be so nuclear!

    November 26, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  14. Josh

    Its because obamacare effects people. The government shut down effected no one.

    November 26, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  15. Strangways

    well, then America gets what it deserves – three more years of gridlock and obstruction, followed by a bitter election with Republicans using every dirty trick in their playbook.

    November 26, 2013 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  16. Sue

    #1 You say this comes from Fox News? I'd double-check if they said snow was cold, since they have some less-than-reliable informmation and reporting practice. #2 47-49 is a miniscule percentage, well within the margin-for-error and #3 As you yourself said, what a difference a month makes. And #4 Quit trying yo make "something" out of nothing, you're making fools of yourselves.

    November 26, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  17. Kaplaa

    This is my fault. .. I served my country in the Army.... Got out and did not vote... I am the reason this has happened... Trust me from now on I am getting of my rear end and REPUBLICANS have my vote. Don't care who it is.

    November 26, 2013 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  18. John Merritt

    Thank god the political world is shifting in the right direction

    November 26, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  19. Guest

    Kay Hagan, my Obama rubberstamp, has a 19% at last polling. He will lose her Marxist stamp in 2014.

    November 26, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  20. dalene44

    Obamacare showcased the incompetence and corruption of those who forced it on the American people. Peace of mind in healthcare requires, privacy, trust and competence. None of those things appear to be a factor in Obamacare.

    November 26, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  21. Gurgyl

    This poll is FARCE. Any one that votes for GOP got to be an idiot. War broke this nation to the ground. Now this nation is in good shape than ever before. Yes, ACA is a Law. USA needed this Law desperately.

    November 26, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  22. Lisa

    Of course the insanely stupid will vote in the republicans again!

    November 26, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  23. mike

    It's hard to understand why the American public does not like a lying President. Guess he though he could say anything without any repercussions.

    November 26, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  24. bananaspy

    And the Republicans will take office and ruin us even more, and then the Democrats will take office again and ruin us even more. Have we learned nothing in the past 200 years? There's not a party with the "correct" answers because people making up our country want different things, have different values, and nobody wants to compromise. This is an infinite tug of war.

    November 26, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  25. Victor

    CNN is becoming another FOX media organizations....American citizens will not be fooled by these stunts. GOP has been the party of NO, and blatant stupidity.

    November 26, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
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