November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
8 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. SuperD

    To be honest, who cares which political party has the upper hand? The crap that is going on in this country is just going to continue anyway. There will be no change, no justice, just business as usual regarding these politicians. What I wanna see is what happens when you take the electoral college out of the deal? I mean after all, what's the point in voting for someone to vote for you when they could simply change their minds at the last minute and vote for the other guy? Or better yet, what happens when no one in the country votes? Does the electoral college still vote? Is business still carried on as usual despite everyone in America opting out to be a part of this corrupt system? Hmm...Makes you wonder doesn't it?

    November 26, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  2. FT

    Guess they should have read the bill before they passed it

    November 26, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  3. BO

    It's not Obamacare as much as it is the Obama LIES.

    November 26, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Who cares what your poll says , I'm voting for the dems . The GOP lost 24 billion dallars in 16 days and haves done nothing for five years and your going to vote for the GOP incompetent obstructionist ??????

    November 26, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  5. whatelseisnew

    The latest fiasco with Obama giving money to Iran to build a nuclear weapon will only further erode the democrat stronghold in the senate.

    November 26, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  6. Jack Young

    This will teach them to read the bill before they vote on it!

    November 26, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  7. Joe's great

    843 people. It's a landslide.

    November 26, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  8. joe

    This is news this far from an election ? These numbers will change 20 times between now and the next two years. Besides that,...2 points either way is not enough to call one party a winner. CNN must be desperate for news.

    November 26, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  9. Sage

    The republicans will shut the governmenet down again and the poll numbers will return to the new normal...

    November 26, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  10. cartman

    And so it begins..

    November 26, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  11. Dan

    Oh come on. These things 11 months away. There is plenty of the time for the Repubs to blow the place up or for the dems to burn it down more

    November 26, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  12. Cocoamac

    Let me see if I get this straight. You approve of Obamacare, but the website was all screwed up so you're gonna vote for a Republican. Well that'l certainly cure the website problems.

    November 26, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  13. Susie

    Seriously, what did you expect. The whole ACA bill needs to be overturned and a small bill should be passed that forces insurance companies to keep clients with serious illnesses and to carry a number of high risk clients, like they do with auto insurance. That is about the extent the government should be involved.

    November 26, 2013 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  14. nvmature

    Any voter who bases his vote on an oversight in a new computer system isn't very mature.

    November 26, 2013 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  15. Ron

    So far, Obamacare hasn't done anything except bring great harm to Americans. I wonder if it will ever do any actual good.

    November 26, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  16. al

    One thing we all know if CNN did the polling the gap is much wider.

    November 26, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  17. Clowns

    Smoke and mirrors, all of it. So Obama has made minor mistakes trying to bring Health Care to the people, the GOP has taken that and blown it out of proportion as to how terrible it is. The truth is that republicans do not want people to have health insurance at all. Given their track record, Do you think republicans care about you or your family? All they have done is give the rich more money they do not need while you have less and less. Do you think you'll do much better under the GOP?

    November 26, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  18. pat_wobbly

    Obama should have just gone Canadian Health care style. Its the most efficient, affordable and everyone is covered. Its was a mistake to pander to the corporate health insurance lobby.

    November 26, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  19. Bob

    Obama put off the employer mandate for a year then bumped it back another month so the millions next to be told they had "sub-standard" policies didn't get nailed prior to the election. Pelosi said dems would run on the ACA but so far they have pushed many things back. If the dems felt the ACA was a good thing they should have implemented it as soon as it was passed.

    November 26, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  20. u laby

    Who's still voting for the Dems?? Haven't you learned your lesson yet??

    November 26, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  21. Rotton John

    Until Ted opens his stupid mouth.

    November 26, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  22. Doug

    And want a difference another month will make. I am VERY sure that between now and the next election the Republicans will again put their foot in their mouth and demonstrate they are anti middle class. They will take away voting rights, they will take away human rights, and they will bring benefits to corporate America. How quickly the public forgets why we are in the situation we are...it is due to the Republicans. Think I am wrong? Look at history and a timeline. Plot the actions and you well see a VERY clear picture. Do the Dems do everything correctly? No, we all know that. But I am willing to put my money their rather than in the pocket of corporate America because the Republicans gave Corps the right to take my money. The public opinion will sway more in the next year than a one-hundred year old cottonwood tree in a fifty mile per hour wind.

    November 26, 2013 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  23. humtake

    Doesn't matter. For the last few years, the country has been split almost evenly among voters. Obama only won by 2-3% of the popular vote. The party line is very tight right now down the middle, which means we are going to be stuck in gridlock on almost everything no matter who is in power. Until politicians learn how to compromise in a way that is beneficial to the country, we will continue to go down this road of one side obstructing the other. It always happens and it always will, unless a party holds full power in the branches...which is a positive in that it allows things to get done but of course the negative is one side controls everything which is not good.

    November 26, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  24. Charles

    Maybe liars don't make great presidents after all.

    November 26, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  25. NameLib

    Thanks, Barry, for the lies! Now we are screwed!

    November 26, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36