November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
12 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. Polar Bear

    Good to see America is sobering up.

    November 26, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Any dream will do

    Many of the policies that are being canceled are not "crappy". MINE wasn't. It served my needs perfectly. Are those of you spouting this talking point affected by Obamacare yet? If not, please consider that you do not know what you are talking about.

    November 26, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. sonny chapman

    Prediction: (Based on Recent History) Obamacare will get better & Repubs,blinded by their HATRED of Obama, will walk into another Right Cross Punch.

    November 26, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. Alan

    No wonder many countries in the World refer to Americans as "Dumb Yanks"!!! Republicans took America into the war in Iraq based on A LIE!!!! Thousands of American soldiers have been killed because of that lie!!! Nothing has changed in Iraq!!!! Then Republicans plunged the economy into the sewers with tens of thousands of Americans losing their jobs and their homes!!! At that time Bush said "the economy is fundamentally strong". Most recently, Republicans cost the country $24 BILLION in the Government shutdown!!!! Now, under Obama, the economy continues to grow, the DOW is breaking historic record highs, people are getting jobs, men and women have easy access to cancer prevention healthcare, and Obama tries to do something good for the American people with the ACA and yet the American people turn on him. NO WONDER SO MANY COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD REFER TO AMERICANS AS "DUMB YANKS"!!!!

    November 26, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Borderless

    Great news for the Republicans until the Tea Party starts thinking those numbers apply to them.

    November 26, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. Thomas

    Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert should have been informed , they are both deep thinking politicians who understand world history , the Bible and the end of times . Star Wars the movie is not correct in it's Biblical teachings ,
    God is Great and the Force be with You !
    Don't be confused !

    Rick Perry / Randy Paul 2016

    November 26, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. mdcambridge

    The poll just proves that Americans support a dysfunctional government.

    Nothing as big as the healthcare act was going to be smooth (although it could have been rolled out much better), but the poll corroborates the need to fan the flames of even the smallest political fire. Dysfunctionally, the GOP has spent half its time in the House writing bills against the act, rather than seeing that it rolled out smoothly. Now they are being rewarded by polls because the three-legged stool (two house and the administration) has been shown to be unstable when one of the legs is unsupportive and actively obstructionist.

    This just supports a throw-anything-at-the-wall-until-it-sticks mentality, such as birthers, Benghazi, death panels, etc. We have the MOST dysfunctional government in the history of the country and the people just run from one brushfire to the next.

    November 26, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Ben

    Why don't you find a job with FOX? GOP has 2014 advantage; Obama cannot be trusted. Who cares about what you write Mr. GOP communications Director?

    November 26, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. mpf

    Dear Republicans,
    Please don't mess this up. You are being dealt the upper hand, not because your great, but because the liberals are self destructing over big government is better. Please use this opportunity to show real leadership and prove you can do it. Right now I think Americans are running away from liberalism rather than running towards conservatism. This is your chance, your opportunity to capitalize on the winds at your back.

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

    Sounds like this would be a great time for a 3rd party to come to fruition. I don't like either of the 2 major circuses, I mean parties...

    November 26, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. jason

    Facts Democrats can't explain:

    #Deductibles doubling or more
    #Policies being canceled because they don't cover addiction or prenatal, despite the insured being a middle aged woman with a family who cannot have kids (this is what Obama Cult members are referring to as crappy or not as good plans)
    #Ya insurance roles dropped people from their plans before but at the rate individuals are being dropped now it is 5 times the rate it was pre ACA.
    #insurance providers are leaving markets, removing options
    #Doctors offices are shutting down , not accepting new patients or refusing to accept certain policies since the reimbursement under ACA has been slashed by 30%
    #The most vulnerable of Americans working minimum wage jobs are getting their hours cut. Despite what Obama zombies claim, it's not you and me getting our hours cut but people working at fast food chains and department stores
    # in the worst job market for recent college grads in decades Obama loyalist are demanding that they pay 300 or more a moth or receive a tax penalty
    # Obama told the American people repeatedly that the above wouldn't happen and all of you Obama surrogates repeated his lies on these same discussion boards over and over again all while chastising and launching personal attacks at those which tried to bring your lies to light

    November 26, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. John Illinois

    Hopefully, but it is dependent on the fools in this country waking up to the fact that Obama and his liberals are total liars that are pushing more and more socialism thereby giving the corrupt government more and more power and making more and more people dependent on the government!

    November 26, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. jason

    # a single mother making 26k a year does not qualify for subsides

    November 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  14. Joe Momma

    THINK AGAIN is clearly drinking the Kool-aid by the barrel. Nice Fact checking. Your post clearly shows your ignorance to the true facts as yu simply puked your official Obama talking points. What makes these insurance policies so crappy? Should a 50 single man be required to carry paternity coverage otherwise its crappy? You are so blind!

    November 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. tom l

    Any of the liberals on here want to defend the labor participation rate? That shows how many people are working that can work. Every year of GWB's presidency it was in the 66% range. It remained in the high 65's for the first year of Obama's presidency, then trickled down to the 64's for the next couple of years, then down to 63 and is now firmly in the 63's for the past few years and is now at 62.8%.

    That is damning evidence. You can't spin that. This president has failed the economy.

    November 26, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Gary

    Never underestimate a political party's ability to grasp defeat from the jaws of victory.
    This'll all blow over if the Ds manage to get the web site working and get more people enrolled. The Rs will follow up with attacks about the cost, the subsidies, the failures (and rightly so), and the program in general to highlight Obama's failures to oversee, manage, and plan for all of this.
    We all lose b/c we've elected political extremists and continue to do so.
    Where are the centrists? Where is my president leading our economy out of this slump? Why are we no longer the country that knew how to make things happen????

    November 26, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  17. Linda

    Remember, the GOP are the ones who shut down the government. The GOP are the ones demonizing the Federal employee. The GOP are the ones who want only the rich to have health insurance and education. The GOP are against America. After what I've seen these last few years, the GOP will never get a vote from me, EVER again.

    November 26, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. gstlab3

    All I can say is we told you so and yeah., Ha! Ha!
    Now you have to lay in the bed you made with the help of the fake media empires we all suffer with.

    November 26, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Steve

    Don't forget that these are the same people who shut down the government and held the entire country hostage over a health care law that they failed to repeal 43 times. Or the same people who have Texas so gerrymandered that it could go 60% Democrat and still have a huge Republican majority in their representatives. (They even brag about that last bit.) And let's not forget they're the same people who started two costly wars while slashing taxes on the rich to the lowest they've ever been, turning a surplus that could have been used to pay our national debt into a huge deficit. These are the same people who want it to be legal for a company to fire you because of your religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or your gender. The same people who think that if a person is uninsured, we should just "let them die," all the while talking about how much they love Jesus. The Republicans are huge hypocrites, liars, frauds, and crybabies. They lost their way because instead of moving to the center, they moved to the extreme right. All because some people are horrified by the idea of a black president.

    November 26, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. ghostwriter

    Hey, let's be real. McCain should have won in 2008. Romney should have won in 2012. Democrats should be taking a huge beating. But they aren't. And we have the media to blame.

    The media is responsible for exposing Palin for not being ready for the big stage. 5 years later, she's proven that to be correct. They were responsible for exposing Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell (I think, the I'm not a witch lady) as not fit for duty. They exposed Todd Akin and I believe Mourdock in IN as not too bright. And exposed Romney as a guy who couldn't relate to those who ate cheesy grits.

    Conservatives can't help but to screw up their chances by continuing to highlight only those screaming "I hate Obama" the loudest. Those that refuse to budge on anything.

    November 26, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. KBNJ

    'Has anyone signed up for the Republican plan yet?"
    HELL NO, and if there ever is a 'Republican plan', I'm quitting the party.
    The whole PROBLEM is the government trying to take over things that are FAR, FAR better served by an intelligently regulated free market.

    November 26, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. The REAL Truth...

    @Stephen – We'll pay up just as soon as liberals pay down the $17+ Trillion...
    ----------------------------------
    Seriously? Do you have any idea of how much of that $17T was caused by GOP spending????
    WAY MORE THAN HALF!!
    Dubya DOUBLED it in 8 yrs ($5.6T to $11.4T) and neglected to fund his 2 wars, Medicare Part D, TARP, the Tax Cuts for the wealthy and the $1.47T DEFICIT he handed to Obama..
    That takes us pretty close to $15T.. then add in Obama's $1T stimulus and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the math, now does it?

    November 26, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. al

    Healthcare in the hands of politicians is just what the destroyers of the constitution want. Obama and his misfits are at their very worst when they are doing anything outside of roads and bridge building!!!

    November 26, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Jon

    We are, as commenter Alan wrote. "dumb yanks." That is for sure!

    November 26, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. stacy

    My insurance for my husband and I was canceled as of the end of this year our new policy is $169 dollars more a month with a higher deductible and copay. A comparable deductible and copay plan than the one which was canceled is $279 more a month. The only difference is my current plan did not cover mental health care, but it included everything else. I understand the importance of such services but we are in our 30 " and have never had any mental health issues. I just don't get why we are being forced to change plans and doctors because someone in an office decided they know what's best

    November 26, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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