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. TomNPitt

    If there is a problem with the government it's because the republicans don't want' it to work. What's their alternative? They have none. They are the canary in the cave when there is no cave. They are the rain on a sunny day. They are the failure of the system when the system is working for the American people. They are simply failures because success makes everyone a winner. The only winners they want are the top 2 percent, and they convince everyone who votes for them that they are all a part of that two percent. Vote for a Democrat and you get free stuff. Vote for a Republican and you will be a very wealthy person; because we'll take every thing away from the poor people!!.

    November 26, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. Ricky

    Polls don't mean crap now. They are just a tool that the media uses to try fabricate stories and get better ratings. No matter how scientific these polls are, the sample is not really representative of society because our society flip flops all the time.

    A big number of voters know nothing about politics, and they change their mind every week, depending on how things are going for them personally.

    Another big number of voters are loyal to their party and will always vote for their party's candidate.

    Another group are the punitive or reactionary voters, which will vote against whoever is in power during the elections, regardless of platforms or ideology. These voters are easily influenced by the media.

    A small group are independents who might vote for Democrats in the national elections, but for Republicans in local elections, or vice versa. They tend to be motivate by a small number of issues that are important to them.

    So, in conclusion, the only polls that really matter are the ones done a week, or even a few days before the election. That is when the reactionary voters, the stupid voters, and the trend voters will make up their mind (at least for a couple days).

    November 26, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. southerngent

    Dina

    Great post.

    November 26, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Sonny

    The dishonesty and betrayal finally caught up with the Dems.

    November 26, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Namelinda

    The people of America are so fickle and have a short memory. The Republicans brought this country to the edge of bankruptcy, watered down union rights,a do nothing congress that has no alternative solution to obamacare but cry dismantle it, have not done anything for the poor and working class Americans, cater to the rich, and hate the President just because he is Black and disrespect the office because White America cannot believe Blacks are as intelligent as they are. The KKK lives on in the US and the Republican Party! Say what!

    November 26, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Dr. Cole

    @ my10cents
    Do you really think that this downturn is only due to "Obamacare" and it's botched roll out? It's far from that. It's about the NSA, drones, IRS scandals, Bengazi, billions of stimulus dollars gone to friends, China and bankrupt companies, the economy, an estimated 3-5 million people with cancelled policies, broken promises, lack of oversight in Obama's own responsibilities, lack of trust, Syria's chemical weapons, Iraq's continued unrest, Afghan's unrest, unemployment, continued "it's someone else's fault" or "I didn't know until it was brought up in the news", broken campaign promises, etc.

    This isn't just about Obamacare. Obamacare is just the straw that broke the camel's back.

    November 26, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  7. Dr. Cole

    @ Namelinda

    Would you please get over the race card. I am not against Obama because he's black...never have, never will. I have not heard any Republican that I associate with say anything bad about him, "because he's black." The man has made many wrong choices and has continued the buddy, buddy system that Chicago is known for. Obama has continued to lie to the public and had his staff lie to us and go onto the national news and continue to lie as he was trying to get re-elected. I am a physician, I know plenty enough about genetics, that I can say that someone who is "black" can be just as intelligent as anyone else in the world.

    Please stop with your race baiting and argue something else, it's getting really old.

    November 26, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. golemmingsgo2013

    We do not get the goverment we want we get the goverment we deserve when you follow polls this far out

    November 26, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Gene

    It looks to me by November 2014 the Republicans will sweep the House and Senate. There will be so many problems with ObamaCare the voters will have enough of it. Just an opinion.

    November 26, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  10. Me

    Sue

    I wouldn't vote for another Republican is their current state if Jesus came down and became one. Until they lose the crazy, will never vote for them again. Part of the reason why Obamacare has receive so much negatively is constant and relentless attack on it. The web site has failed Obamacare hasn't failed yet. Repugs have done absolutely nothing in the house except trying to repel Obamacare and trying to pass religious laws. I'm not the only one, everyone I work with my friends are all fed up with politics but especially of what has become of the Republican party.
    ______________________
    You aren't fooling anyone, you would vote for them no matter what. Give it up, got to love the liberals trying to sound like they are bipartisan! LOL

    November 26, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. David

    Hello Namelinda – I was wondering when race would rear its ugly head. One quick question for you. Why did 90%+ of black voters vote for Obama. Surely it wasn't skin color was it?

    November 26, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. Willy100

    Not Sure I would vote again for a Democrat – with the Reid Guy being a DICTATOR with his Boss saying "yes" to take Control of the Senate with a 'simple' majority and NOT listening to any of the other Views !! ?! !! AND – What about this botched HealthCare deal the Dems PUSHED thru – I thought we would get a SINGLE PAYER result – but instead my premiums go up 15% for the SAME coverage and I get SHOVED ? ! ! ! AND – the US DEBT keeps going UP UP UP UP UP UP

    November 26, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. dave

    the 2014 election might be about the high unemployment. really? lets try top teach the GOP about the real problem that is still kicking our rears. the supply of goods and services produced in this country based on the demand for them is being produced by about 92.5% of the work force. that leaves 7.5% of the work force in a not needed to produce any more demand. the GOP tried giving tax breaks to the rich to create jobs but there is no demand in the economy to produce more. the GOP also wants to cut spending in research for anything new that might create new products to sell in the world markets and putting a demand on our work force to produce these new things. basically the GOP has no answers to put 7.5% of american workers back to work with federal help investing in the correction of this problem. these GOP people think they are so smart than why can't they see this problem for what it is. the GOP likes to say "if your not willing to work you don't eat". these people are willing to work there is no demand in the work place for them. lets see some ideas instead of BS statements of ideology from the GOP. tell us all what you plan is to fix this problem of no demand for any more workers!

    November 26, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  14. dave

    "your comment is awaiting moderation"! really? just don't want any truth on this kind of thing CNN. this is the real problem that people need some one to tell them about..........

    November 26, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. Drew

    CNN said Romney would win after debate 1.We all saw what happened after a month.Wait a year and another possible shutdown and let's see what happens then

    November 26, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. T. Lee

    Are they kidding????

    IF REPUBLICANS ARE RETURNED TO THE W.H. & Senate majority – then Americans are TOO STUPID to be given the right to vote!!

    Has everyone FORGOTTEN? – that the Bush "rollout" (Republican) of the Medicare Prescription Plan for Seniors was just as much a fiasco (albeit on a slightly smaller scale) than "Obamacare" has been? It took Democrats coming to the rescue to fix that mess – something the Republicans haven't stepped up to the plate to do in return.

    Has everyone FORGOTTEN the train-wreck the REPUBLICANS made of the country's economy??? Jobs are back, housing is recovering, THE MARKET IS ROARING AGAIN – all with NO THANKS from the Republicans!!

    Vote the Republicans back into political majority in the Senate and return them to the W.H.?

    NO THANKS !!!

    November 26, 2013 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    @Dina

    "Honestly, the people talking about the Republicans here in a negative light make me want to laugh."

    Really? Remember who left us with two wars and a deep recession? Remember who lied to us about WMDs and got 4,500 Servicemembers killed and about 35,000 wounded? Remember who had absolutely no ideas for healthcare, immigration, jobs, Medicare, climate change, or Social Security reform? Remember who sat on the sidelines and blocked all progress – even going as far as holding Americans hostage with a government shutdown? Republicans have done far greater damage to America than the 9/11 terrorists. Negative light? Get real!

    November 26, 2013 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Larry L

    @Garrett from Texas

    "The 2012 hold was because the Tea Party base was secure."
    ---------------
    Really? Take a look at the Texas political map and try to tell anybody that ap isn't the most gerrymandered piece of crap in the nation. Look at population centers with a high Latino or African American demographic. Texas has been carved up to water-down the minority vote ad keep the radical right-wing in control. But the day of reckoning is coming. The Latino vote is going to drive the GOP out of the State and it will happen soon and all of the butt-smoochng in the worldwon't change that fact.

    November 26, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  19. ghostwriter

    "The American Health Care Reform Act" H.R. 3121.
    REPUBLICAN’S HEALTH CARE PLANS......If you can find more than 4 things different from Obamacare, you win a prize!

    – Voluntary purchasing pools: Give individuals and small businesses the opportunities that large businesses and the government have to seek lower insurance costs.

    – Portability: As people change jobs or move across state lines, they change insurance plans. By allowing consumers to "own" their policies, insurers would have incentive to make more investments in prevention and in managing chronic
    conditions.

    – Lawsuit reform: It makes no sense to ignore one of the biggest cost drivers in the system - the cost of defensive medicine, largely driven by lawsuits. Worse, many doctors have stopped performing high-risk procedures for fear of
liability.

    – Require coverage of preexisting conditions: Insurance should not be least accessible when it is needed most. Companies should be incentivized to focus on delivering high-quality effective care, not to avoid covering the sick.

    – Transparency and payment reform: Consumers have more information when choosing a car or restaurant than when selecting a health-care provider. Provider quality and cost should be plainly available to consumers, and payment
systems should be based on outcomes, not volume. Today's system results in wide variations in treatment instead of the consistent application of best practices. We must reward efficiency and quality.

    – Electronic medical records: The current system of paper records threatens patient privacy and leads to bad outcomes and higher costs.

    – Tax-free health savings accounts: HSAs have helped reduce costs for employers and consumers. Some businesses have seen their costs decrease by double-digit percentages. But current regulations discourage individuals and
small businesses from utilizing HSAs.

    – Reward healthy lifestyle choices: Providing premium rebates and other incentives to people who make healthy choices or participate in management of their chronic diseases has been shown to reduce costs and improve health.

    – Cover young adults: A large portion of the uninsured are people who cannot afford coverage after they have "aged out" of their parents' policies. Permitting young people to stay on their parents' plans longer would reduce the number of uninsured and keep healthy people in insurance risk pools - helping to lower premiums for everyone.

    – Refundable tax credits (for the uninsured and those who would benefit from greater flexibility of coverage): Redirecting some of the billions already spent on the uninsured will help make non-emergency care outside the emergency room affordable for millions and will provide choices of coverage through the private market rather than
    forcing people into a government-run system. We should trust American families to make choices for themselves while we ensure they have access to quality, affordable health care.

    November 26, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. A True Conservative

    No Dan, we want an honest government....and one that starts worrying about the next generation. Now we have a dishonest administration and one that has run up the highest debt in history at the fastest rate......and one that act entirely unilaterally.....

    November 26, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. karma

    Not worried. The GOP-TP still has a whole year to screw it up!

    November 26, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. karek40

    We need term limits for both the senate and the house, to many lifetime politicians voting to keep their jobs instead of what is in the best interest of the country. Vote out the globalists and reduce significantly our financial support of the U.N. we are broke, if they U.N. is so beneficial let the rest of the world pick up more of the tab.

    November 26, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. Ralph

    I've thought for some time that the best Republican strategy would be to enforce, to the letter, Obunglecare. Once the majority of citizens learn it is not affordable, you can't keep your previous doctor or insurance policy, the enormous increase in premiums, the few people who can actually qualify for a "subsidy", the refusal of the Democratic leadership to sign up for this healthcare plan, not to mention the lying.

    Once the electorate gets a full dose of the truth they will drive the Democrats from the gates of the city. Even here in CA Dear Leader is despised and heckled.

    November 26, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. John

    Just curious....What % of Americans believe that Pre-existing conditions SHOULD NOT BE COVERED and therefore we would need to continue to provide our health history, which basically invades our personal privacy.....why would any sane person not want to be covered for ANY CONDITION that he/she would bring in when first getting health insurance?.....

    November 26, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Namebadtobone

    Dems are quick to brag about polls when it's in their flavor .ex election 2008/2012
    But when the truth comes out and poll change its something or someone else fault.
    Quick to forget 2010 and be accountable for anything.
    Heck the president is in .CA campaigning like he run for office. Again and could careless about obamacare "aca" or the people it hurts.

    November 26, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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