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. Linus

    The GOP should enjoy this moment, it won't get any better than that for them

    November 26, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Fact

    The real problem for Health care system is:
    (1) Illegal immigrants
    (2) freetakers, who thinks 'working is slavery'
    These people should not be treated for free at emergency centers. No money no service. Plain and simple.
    Let them try their luck somewhere else like VA or some church/community run health care service.

    If we can plug this hole first, we can then go after the ridiculous price tag from private hospitals, Insurance company and parma.

    November 26, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Get a job

    YUCK

    Once again,republicans,and their lies,the far right will do anything and say anything negative just to dismantle obama's plan."wait and we call this a Christian nation?
    _______________
    What lies, pretty sad you can't even mention one, because they were telling the TRUTH all along! Why don't you try and get out of Mommy's basement and get a job!

    November 26, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. JB

    Of course it seems like that today. But both sides have another year to do something stupid or something great to swing undecideds their way. But if, for instance, the Obamacare glitches get fixed, people may change their tune. But if they don't, it's not looking pretty.

    November 26, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. Daniel P. Hanover

    It's because of all the LIES, past, present, and future, coming Out of The Obamaniac over Benghazi, the IRS, OBAMACARE, and a host of other things he constantly LIES about.

    November 26, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. dalene44

    Democrats desire for government control is disturbing. Obama's indefinite detention for Americans is disturbing.

    November 26, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. KrjMc

    a vote for the GOP is just another 4 years of gridlock unless everyone lays down and adopts their religious, social agenda. Let's not get side tracked they have no intentions of working with anyone on anything.

    November 26, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Malory Archer

    andrewmag166

    Dems lost big in the 90's after the tried to shove socialsit health care and extreme gun control down peoples throat. I really think its radical dems that do this. they will lose big again...

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

    Yeah, except the ACA became law in 2010, and while the dems lost seats in that year's elections, they cut their losses considerably in 2012. You DO remember the 2012 elections, don't you?

    November 26, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Lolo

    They must have just polled the one-toothers and tinfoil hat people. They are the only ones who like to get polled to tell lies because of their hatred for minorities. @Get a Job, here are the lies your GOP/TP trolls like to tell about President Obama, he is a racist, he is unamerican, he tanked the economy when actually Dubya did it, he's a socialist, anymore lies you need and also I work everyday, own my home, car and takes care of myself.

    November 26, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Strangways

    if this is true, then America will get what it deserves – three years of absolutely no movement, vicious Republican attacks, more budget standoffs and then an ugly election with yet another loud, lame Republican candidate.

    November 26, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. ex-sarge

    You cannot be for a balanced budget, or shrinking the deficit and be for tax breaks for anyone, Period. It's like like quitting a full time job, to take a part time job to pay your debts. The math doesn't work. It's like being for smaller government and then insisting that that "smaller" government be able to monitor every pregnancy in the country.

    November 26, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. scott

    Good. The sooner the current path we are gets corrected the better. Obama has done nothing to help our country. We are lucky our country doesnt need the President to keep on moving forward. Soon Obama's time in office will be over.

    November 26, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Rachel

    Oh just wait, the gap will be even bigger once all the hard working middle class folks find out they're losing their employer insurance next year.

    November 26, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. loadmaster3

    "Democrats losing edge in 2014" It's more like they are going over the ledge in 2014. All the obamaites will follow him right off the cliff as any decent lemming would do!

    November 26, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. just asking

    can you imagine the amount of damage that obama, reid and pelosi could have done to this country had the tea party not thrown out record numbers of democrats in 2010? obamacare would have been just the tip of the iceberg!

    2014 – leave no democrat in office to screw you over yet again with their far left agenda.

    November 26, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. NorCalMojo

    I hope this will make democrats start questioning their leadership. If this just pushes the middle back to the same old GOP policies, it won't do much good.

    November 26, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Jack 2

    More to come as this lying inept president is exposed. He has over three years left and will definitly lie again as liars do.

    November 26, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Get a Job challenged:

    What lies, pretty sad you can't even mention one, because they were telling the TRUTH all along! Why don't you try and get out of Mommy's basement and get a job!
    -----------------------–
    DEATH PANELS: The right wing has pointed to language that creates a panel of roughly two dozen people to review cases on an issue by issue basis. The right pointed to that as the death panel.

    DEBUNKED: The panel is team of people whose only responsible is to report to the Congress on the effectiveness and problems with the ACA, and offer up non-binding suggestions to improve the law. It would be comparable to a Citizen's Review Board, that looks at the problems of a police department and then make recommendations on its' findings to a higher authority.

    Besides, there is no way on Earth that two dozen people could ever possibly make millions of "life or death" health care decisions on a daily basis that would be required for millions of people. BTW, it is still the private insurers that make the "life or death" decisions in your private health care plan.

    November 26, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. loadmaster3

    "Democrats losing edge in 2014" It's more like they are going over the edge in 2014. All the obamaites will follow him right off the cliff as any decent lemming would do!

    November 26, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Hoang Le

    America knows what GOP does to this country. American wants GOP, then American will get GOP, and good luck!!!

    November 26, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Kathy

    What short attention spans American's have. Someone once said, you get the government you deserve.

    November 26, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. sly

    Americans are stupid, so The Party of Stupid is good for them. Many are still racist. Most Americans just play the blame game, and are not intelligent enough to propose ideas of their own.

    Gotta love how Americans vote in Congressmen every 2 years, then blame 'them' for everything, like they are too stupid to remember who voted them in?

    Intelligent folks can see all the progress we've made in the past 5-10 years – the debt has been cut in half, the stock market is soaring, our President ended Federal discrimination on preference, 50 MILLION US war vet's and cancer victims are finally allowed health care.

    November 26, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    just asking

    can you imagine the amount of damage that obama, reid and pelosi could have done to this country had the tea party not thrown out record numbers of democrats in 2010? obamacare would have been just the tip of the iceberg!
    ------------------------
    And if Republicans had not gerrymandered the districting in so many states, then they would have lost the majority in the House in 2012. Whatever Republicans may have gained in 2010, they quickly threw it al away in 2011.

    November 26, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Dave

    And as usual, still no alternatives from the official party of dumb- The GOP. All they need to do is whine and lie and complain and lie and lie and lie and their lazy, ignorant supporters eat it up.

    November 26, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    NorCalMojo

    I hope this will make democrats start questioning their leadership. If this just pushes the middle back to the same old GOP policies, it won't do much good.
    ------------------
    Keep up that hope for change thingy, okay. It'll make you a better person. Why don't Republicans ever question their leader, The Great Limbaugh? He alone probably costs the Republican Party at least a milllion votes in the general elections for POTUS.

    November 26, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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