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. Styro

    The CNN Polling Director Keating Holland believes that Obamacare will only be unpopular "among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care". So the people who had policies that were canceled don't care about healthcare and health insurance? They tell me why they purchased the policies in the 1st place? They obviously thought enough about it that they purchased a product that cost thousands of dollars a year. Only now it will cost them much more in premiums and deductibles. People who get insurance thru their employers will care much more when Obamacare causes them their coverage or costs much more, believe me.

    November 26, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  2. NameRolph

    Wow
    A poll of 700 some odd people ?
    Doesn't mean squat. Especially coming from CNN.
    Repubs blew this country up over 8 years and now we have to clean up their shit and even the scorecard.

    November 26, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. loadmaster3

    I sincerely love the fact that the libs keep trying to defend this regime with blame against past presidents. Here's a fact: there is nothing left (no pun intended) for the libs to do but lay blame on the past administrations for the absolute failure of this regime and attack those that pose the threat of TRUTH regarding this regime. Come on 2014!

    November 26, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  4. jrt1098

    LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ... not the TEA PARTY give us 7.5% UNEMPLOYMENT as the new norm
    LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ... not the TEA PARTY give us a feckless and ineffective Foreign policy ... the latest example of which is announcing an end to Iran's nuclear program as their Foreign Minister is publicly saying the opposite.
    LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ... not the TEA PARTY attempt to take over 1/6 of the American economy, all of Americans health care choices ... LIE to get it passed ... after publicly declaring ... "we have to read the bill to find out what's in it" ... and they KNEW they were ... LYING !!!

    after electing the most radical Far left administration ever elected by the American people ... rather than worry about the TEA PARTY ... I think the Dems need to worry about the RADICALS in the White House !!!

    November 26, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  5. Mightyduk

    Low wages and complete government control vote republican .

    November 26, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  6. valwayne

    Obama and the Democrats, every single Democrat in Congress shoved Obamacare down our throats and they did it with LIES and FRAUD. NOW their LIES and FRAUD are hurting millions and next year it will be tens of millions. "If you like your healthcare plan you can keep your healthcare plan, PERIOD"! "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, PERIOD"! American families will save $2500 a year each on health premiums with Obamacare. Now you know the truth. Obama LIED, the DEMOCRATS LIED, and LIED, and LIED. Obama and the Democrat perpetrated the biggest LIE and FRAUD in all of U.S. history on all of us. In 2014 their LIES and their FRAUD have to be defeated. Hundreds of millions will suffer because of them. They have to be kicked out in droves. And its not just for their LIES and FRAUD folks, LOOK at their INCOMPETENCE. They couldn't get a single website to work in 4 years with billions of dollars. A website any decent size company could have had up and running in 6 months to a year at 1/20th the budget. And they LIED about it. Obama told us it would be READY NOV 30. It won't be. That was another LIE. Punish them at the polls. Not one LYING Defrauding Democrat should be allowed to stay in Congress.

    November 26, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  7. soabsurd

    liar in chief

    November 26, 2013 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. Beans

    In the past recessions history shows that recovery does not depend on consumer spending or government spending. Recovery depends on capital spending. And firms are having a hard time doing that.

    November 26, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. love344

    Dina is dilusional and the gop think many people don't know what they are trying to do....

    November 26, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. Juan

    We American people are the FOURTH REICH.

    November 26, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Liz the First

    How dumb can people be? the repugs purposely trash the country and cost us TWENTY-FOUR BILLION DOLLARS in lost economic activity with their treasonous shutdown of the government, and people are now forgetting all that in order to be mad at Obama because his effort to HELP ALL AMERICANS HAVE HEALTH CARE is off to a slow start????? seriously????? do the repugs need to start shooting people in the streets before we as a country move beyond their hate-filled, ignorant, greedy ideology??? how many times to they have to knock this country back on its heels before we say 'enough?' stupid people cannot govern a country. the repugs have proven that over and over. and every time they mess up, the Dems have to come in and clean up their mess! time to stop giving the repugs the opportunity to wreck this country!

    November 26, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  12. Just

    The community organizer experiment failure will haunt the USA for many years.

    November 26, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Crystal

    I mean it's not like the other party is looking too hot.

    November 26, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Wallaceboy

    So I am sitting in the coffee shop reading the paper and two twenty something women are at the table next to me. I am sorry, but I count the number of times people say "like" in a sentence. When it reached one hundred I had to move if I wanted to finish my paper. What were they talking about? Obamacare and how "like" it was a right to have health care. They really liked Barry. I also caught that they were both unemployed and not in school. Later as I left, one got into a BMW 3 series conv. and the other a Land Rover. Stupid people rule. Where did I go wrong voting for fiscal conservatives and working all of my life. I also saved, paid my bills and raised my kids with a real wife. I am so "like" out of date…...

    November 26, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  15. Chris

    Why would Mr. Holland assume "white voters, higher-income Americans, and people who live in rural areas are less concerned about health insurance and health care than lower-income Americans. After all, isn't it they who are losing their policies and/or having to pay more? Isn't that what they are upset about? Most poor American's qualify for Medicaid which is not substantially changing under the ACA.

    November 26, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Jack33

    Republicans will be at the bottom of the barrel again by election time next year. In another few months, the Obamacare anger will be all but forgotten (especially when the vast majority realize they are getting a better deal from the ACA), while in the meantime, another republican-led shutdown will occur...the very action of theirs that caused the GOP to fall to the lowest ratings ever recorded for a political party in the polling history of Gallup & WSJ/NBC.

    November 26, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  17. Mr Lizard

    Gun control was the hill that team blue died on. 1 year ago team red had pretty much rolled over after the 2012 elections. But y'all democrats got a little uppity and tried to go for everything...hell if y'all hadn't woken the beast, then the republicans probably would've fixed the ACA for you and preserved Barry's legacy. BTW how's that immigration reform workin out? Ya that's what I thought.

    Well at least y'all Rock Surgeons managed to sell 13 million more guns I the process... Further entrenching the 2nd Ammendment. Good luck even mentioning gun control in the near future... Knuckleheads

    November 26, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  18. harley

    I agree with you Namelinda post just wanted to say. Republicans haven't done nothing for us American people not just the poor but middle class not even the average working as people. Both parties are not perfect but I would never vote for a Republican it took a democract Black man try is best with great character and strength to endure the no help from the republican party no ideas no other solutions but argueing to fix there mess and they hate it!! People you better open your eyes and stop letting Republicans through shade because if you not rich you not intelligent

    November 26, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  19. kelly

    republicans are going to take a beating in all elections for a long time

    November 26, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. loadmaster3

    Two fitting quotes: "And the walls come tumbling down and the walls come crumblin' tumblin' down". Another old favorite: "Barry Barry quite contrary".

    November 26, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  21. Name

    Yes I agree

    November 26, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  22. tbone

    Believe me the polls will have the Dems in front. The Obamacare will be the best legislation to help the middle class since the 40 hour work week.

    November 26, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    why isnt anyone talking about people with company provided insurance. That starting next year is going thru the roof. And if you have this kind of insurance your not even allowed to look at obamacare!!! Thats the boat im in and its ridiculous

    November 27, 2013 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  24. jb

    @Dina two thing u got wrong one downgrade was both party's fault two jobs I believe it was the tea party that stated they would make them so don't blame the dems

    November 27, 2013 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  25. Chris White

    I have no idea where Mr. Steinhauser got his statistics education but the 10 point difference is very bizarre. Dems went from 50% to 47%, so that's a 3 point drop. Repubs went from 42% to 49% so they gained 7 points. And yes you can add 7 and 3 to get 10 but that is not a 10 point difference. The difference (difference requires subtraction) is 4 points (7-3). But even that is screwy mathematical comparison.

    The real differences are that there was an 8 point advantage by Dems a month ago (50 to 42) and now there is a 2 point advantage by Repubs (49 to 47). That is a difference (notice the subtraction) of 8 – 2 which gives us a 6 point difference. And yes you could add 8 + 2 to get 10 but, again, that's not a "difference". I actually have no idea what it is other than weird.

    November 27, 2013 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
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