November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
5 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. HJA

    Polls be damned. There is no way I'll ever vote Repub again. They don't even try to produce any good for the country. Scream and yell about the ACA but no ideas. No wait, they did have an idea on healthcare.....A tax break!! WFD!

    November 26, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Tony Torres

    If by some chance the GOP prevails in 2014 we are up the creek. It is unfortunate that some people actually live in a bubble, as is the current status in our society. These few can not be given the opportunity to wreck our way of life because they hate Obama so much that as long as Obama does not get credit for the slightest good that is done for USA,they would rather send the US into the crapper as long as they win. What will they really win? To date the GOP has only obstructed and/or delay anything that might help the US, if people prefer that way of life, so be it but what about the rest of us, "The Hell to us" I hated Bush but I never wished him any personal harm, nor did I ever wish he would fail because that would have effected us more than the dumb ideas he & Chaney had.
    WE MUST TURNOUT AND VOTE! We can not afford to stay at home and let someone else dictate our lives.

    November 26, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. southerngent

    BeverlyNC
    Oh! Come on now, talking about extremism, day after day opinion pieces in local news papers, as well as liberal news outlets are filled with pure hate and name calling. It became worst after the last election, because democrats thought the Republican party was dying.

    I have news for you, we just came back to life. . . . .

    November 26, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. BinFL

    @ 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.
    ____________________________________
    So you don't think just having these requirements will raise insurance premiums?? If it were that simple this would have been done long ago. The whole idea to make it "affordable" was to have everyone in the risk pool which is the reason for the mandate. The Repubs know this as it was originally a conservative thinktank's idea and also same as Romneycare. They know this but want to continue to poison the well for Obama. They have no ideas on how to make the system affordable because they had 12 years to do something and did nothing!

    November 26, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Christian Grey

    I come to this debate, Mr. Speaker, at the end of 10 years of service on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was one of my top priorities. I applaud the President's focusing on this issue, and on taking the lead to disarm Saddam Hussein.

    Namcy Pelosi

    What about that Iraqi War libs...hahaha

    November 26, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Dems need reality check

    The Democrats need to stop acting like the only thing wrong with Obamacare is the Republicans opposition to it.

    November 26, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Youranidiot

    You people, people who are like sheep, many of the people that comment here, most people that vote republican, easily misled, dumb, no thinking for yourself people, you are all idiots.

    November 26, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. FLIndy

    The media does a total disservice to the American people. It's negativity all the time! Where are the articles on the Dow reaching record highs and 401k's doing great, or doing real research on why things aren't getting done in Washington and how the President has very little power over the Congress who holds the purse strings. I guarantee that if Romney had won and the Dow was over 16K he would have been made King by now!! There is no liberal media – it is just a bunch of know nothings on both sides whose only job is to divide America.

    November 26, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  9. Daniel

    It's sad when the congress-persons, elected to represent for his/her states best ideas, wishes, prosperity, safety, and expansion of understanding, with love and equality to all, assumes that spinning a couple of news cycles instills amnesia in the general population! I'm here to tell you all #ITDOESNOT !! There will no longer be idle polls, next to idle votes, next to idle ideologies. The future must change from the ignorance of the past. The world of new begins with the examples left from the neanderthal mentality permeating through societies, congresses, parliaments, churches, temples, mosque, and ways of thinking. Greed is not the way of the future, nor will it be allowed to flourish; for with examples comes learning. The children of tomorrow are learning, have been learning, and continue to learn from the missteps of those who call themselves leaders in the name of economy. #VotesWillCount #VoteUnIdle

    November 26, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Juan

    Weather may cost American people billions, Obozoscare stupid law already cost us over $10 billions for nothing and nealry 6 millions HC plan being chopped. Temporary budget until end of Jan 2014 pump 100 billions printed trash dollar into market monthly by banksters help trading up a little but damage your 401 (k) in long term.

    November 26, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. FLIndy

    @ Jeremy -Just wait folks. This will be a game changer for the first term of the next President. Republican majority in the House, Senate, and President. You will notice things will start to get accomplished.
    __________________________
    Yeah, war with Iran to start with – can't wait for that!! What on earth do you think a total Repub gov't would do for the people of this country. Last time they had full control we got into illegitimate wars and they sunk the economy.

    November 26, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Tracy 4aminute

    "Up the creek" because of the GOP? Seriously? The US is in utter chaos because of a dem with poor leadership skills as a president and ACA is a nightmare that is hurting millions of people and businesses. Oh, and before you start shouting racism...give me a break...that argument is tired and simply not true here. I wouldn't care what race was in the White House as long as they would actually do what was Right for the American people instead of expedient.

    For the first time in 30 years I am without health insurance! I am hardworking, possess a bachelor's degree from a good university, own my home, but no health insurance! All thanks to Obama and his socialist agenda via healthcare. Just wait until after the first of the new year, it's not just going to be 10 million losing health coverage...but 30 to 40 million!

    Now why don't you tell me again how wonderful this ACA is?

    November 26, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Garrett from Texas

    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.

    ________________

    if Gerrymandering was so effective, how come the Democrats lost the house in 2010 at all? They had the majority and the majority ALWAYS gerrymanders.

    The 2012 hold was because the Tea Party base was secure.

    November 26, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. TheBloch

    @T. Lee

    Have you been asleep the last 5 years? Obama is destroying the country

    November 26, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. timelord7202

    I'm sure the republicans will fix everything. Like how they fixed everything between 2001 and 2007, yes?

    November 26, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Disappointed

    If they liked my vote, they cannot keep my vote.

    Good riddance.

    November 26, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. yolanda

    @RudyNYC
    You are starting to sound shrill. If you occasionally acknowledged the fallibility of Obama you would have more credibility. He, like every president before him, has made mistakes. To attack Bush on relations with Russia is comical.(There are plenty of topics to legitimately attack him on) Yes, our relations with Russia chilled, but partly due to the fact that we did not roll over for Putin, unlike today. Get off your partisan bandwagon and offer some constructive criticism like you used to do.

    November 26, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Oh, Democrats, grow a spine and fight back, fight hard and fight with the truth. Didn't you learn anything from Bill
    Clinton? Swooning eipsodes, trantrums and hissy fits are for Reince Priebus, Boeher and company. It's the health and well being of a whole country what's at stake here, not the newest yatch model for the Republican "base". If you keep this up we will have to call Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren to show you wimps how it's done. You are letting Republicans get away with murder with their shameful campaign of misinformation. They are running around in fear and you are letting them intimidate you? They are "swift-boating" us again and getting away with their disgusting brand of manipulation while youn play safe.

    November 26, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Robert

    The dems should be worried about getting hammered in public opinion poles...here's why...
    There are a LOT of Americans that have been out of meaningful work for several years now.
    The dems have forced every whim obama has had on the country without so much as asking...are you sure this is a good idea? In other words dems can't think for themselves.
    Obama has been caught telling so many lies he would not be a credible witness in a trial...the dems vouched for him and backed up his lies....so the term 'guilt by association" carries weight with the public.
    Kids cannot be on their parents insurance plan until they are 26 because their parents plans were canceled and now they only have part time jobs anyway.
    Obama is out fundraising, telling every special interest group they are his main priority. ...and the dems aren't telling him to shut up, that we need to heal OUR country first.
    He wants to sit at our empty table this Thanksgiving and talk about obamacare....

    November 26, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. cbp

    Oh gee, Just what we needed today – another poll.

    What a poll should show is how many big box executives who gave large donations to the Conservatives are now opening their stores on Thanksgiving which just about forces workers to be there instead of home enjoying the holiday with their families. Family values are only alive and well when there is a political campaign and politicos need money. As soon as the campaign is over people forget what family values even mean and they are right back to making as much money as possible. How manywell-pad execs are opening their stores on Thursday to get a jumpstart on black friday.

    November 26, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  21. BobbyG

    It might look like that now but when the Republicans have to actually start talking they will implode. They have had the same plan for health care for the last 15 years, tort reform, and sell insurance over state lines. Tort reform is a non-issue, it just stops the consumer from having protection if something goes wrong, party of responsibility for others, none for me and my donors. If you could sell insurance across state lines all companies would open a small office in the state with the least regulation and the bar would be set so low that these junk health plans people are 'losing' now would look great by comparison. Then you'll get the religious nuts talking about end days and revelations, evolution is a lie, and call abortion the biggest problem facing the US while dismissing contraception in the same breath. They have been pulling a b.s. balancing act since Reagan, being able to have the same social issues on the front, abortion, gays, religious persecution, while killing the middle class and devastating the poor on the back end. Of course they don't want contraception available, abortions will surely go down and what else will they have to scream about? If the supreme court rules with hobby lobby on this contraception thing then every corporation will have a come to Jesus moment and find god to be able to protect their bottom line, profits. If america votes these clowns in we deserve everything nugget of crap they shovel us.

    November 26, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. Pastor Paul c.

    No matter wat u see or say, i belive dat Americans are being misled by all de political parties and their cronies. Sorry guys, u brought dis on urselves. So, chew it!

    November 26, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Dina

    Honestly, the people talking about the Republicans here in a negative light make me want to laugh. We have scandal after scandal with this administration, no jobs, a lousy economy, a played with unemployment figure, an administration that only cares about placing people on government aide instead of actually helping them get off it, which would help us all, high taxes, high gas prices, a downgrade, now 5 million plus without insurance who were responsible enough to have it in the first place. Lies and deception is all the democrat party is good for. AND for those of you with your head in the sand, the Republicans did put forth plans for healthcare but how do you get anything done when your not in power????? When are you dumbheads going to start blaming the appropriate party? If you have understand how frustrating it is for the vast majority of Americans living in Obama's America. A mediocre America, we are looked upon as weak across the world. Wake up. I would NEVER vote democrat!!

    November 26, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  24. Dan

    Did people really think the implementation of the most comprehensive health reform act since medicare was going to go 100% without issues? That's the problem with today's voters and the corporate-run media. We want quick, easy answers to difficult issues. The fact remains that those people who are negatively affected by the Affordable Health Care Act is less than 1.5% of the US population. Yes, the website sucks and has problems. But that is little cause to forget the GOP's closing down of the government that cost a minimum of $24 billion dollars. If only we lived in a country where the news was not owned by corporations and where every major candidate was free from special interests. It may sound like a wonderful pipe dream, but it actually does exist in Canada, Sweden, Norway, and some extent in the UK.

    November 26, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. KeninTexas

    I had always thought that those who had called for Obama to be impeached, were being extreme. But as he continues to show a blatant disregard for the law and the people he is supposed to represent. So I say to all, it is time to impeach Obama for these outrageous actions. Corruption, lying to congress and the American people and failure to uphold the laws of the United States by ordering them either ignored or just not enforced

    November 26, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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