November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 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. CommentsSF

    This is a lie and disservice to the American people.

    CNN should be ashamed of trying to manipulate the voting by posting and promoting idiotic surveys as this one – which never represent the truth – and really me impartial about politics

    tcs tcs

    November 26, 2013 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  2. Floofer

    Republicans taking out the trash! So long Democrats. Wish we could say nice knowing ya, but it hasn't been so nice,

    November 26, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  3. Doc

    I think both parties are useless… but all this poll shows is how labile the American public is, which is truly scary. To swing that wildly because of a website failure that most had nothing to do with? Really? That means everyone with "D" after their name must be directly responsible? No wonder we have ineffective government – those of us with the power to pick the leaders don't seem to be too bright ourselves.

    November 26, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  4. abnguy

    That is truly amazing as the Democrats hold a pretty big voter registration advantage and some Democrats continue to vote even after they are dead.

    November 26, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  5. rs1201

    wait till January 1st comes up and the premiums on obamacare policies go shooting sky high...then, let's see the polls.

    November 26, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  6. truthteller

    Only until the next Republican says another quip about Legitimate Rape or mice with human brains ala' McDonnell.

    November 26, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  7. Thomas

    The chairman of the Republican Party of Florida called on U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, who pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor cocaine possession, to step down in a statement released Monday night.
    Republicans currently have a 17-seat advantage in the U.S. House with the Democrats holding a 55-45 majority in the Senate.

    November 26, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  8. Just a Month Ago

    Just a month ago the Dems were on top and had the upper hand going into the mid-terms. Either the public is fical or the media needs a shocking story to get us to look at the advertising

    November 26, 2013 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  9. Bob

    So the people who are paying the high cost of Obamacare don't like it, and poor people who don't have to pay anything do like it. That's pretty much what anyone would have expected.

    November 26, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  10. works4me

    Just who did they "poll"? Anyone south of the Mason-Dixon line?
    If the average American gives a thumbs up in 2014 for any Republican running for re-election after the crap they have pulled, we'll all be in serious trouble. A continuation of the fear and dumbing of America will be at hand.
    Give it a rest CNN... your polls don't mean jack!

    November 26, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  11. CNeder

    Every demoncrat who voted for Owebamacare needs to own it, run on it, and lose on it. You gave it to us. If you lose, you deserve it.

    November 26, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  12. fr114

    so what. factor in the GOP voter suppression and gerrymandering and the polls didn't mean a damn thing before or after. until it's a crime to do what the GOP does, nothing good will happen for America

    November 26, 2013 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  13. cmml

    WAY too early to declare victory or failure. When businesses see how much their insurance costs will increase as a result of Obamacare, the Democrats will take a hit, but don't be surprised when the Republicans do or say something stupid to level the playing field.

    November 26, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. Mr Braswell

    Tea partiers can ruin the day for republicans.

    November 26, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  15. Rob R

    Are you surprised? Regardless of the website not working, and the lies about keeping your plan... have you received your ObamaCare quote? If you work for a living you're getting bent over. The only one's happy about this are the people who don't.

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

    This is silly ... the 2014 elections are a year away. CNN a bit desperate to fill dead air today?

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

    A sample of HOW MANY? and not all were voters who could make a difference!!

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

    "Republicans hold a 49%-47% edge over Democrats in the 2014 generic ballot for Congress,..."
    Opinion polls/CNN-ORC/whatever don't mean squat... all depends on what comes out of the candidates mouth or what their background is!

    November 26, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  19. surfsock1

    Will wonders never cease? Could it be that America is waking up after this buffet of fiasco and broken promises?

    November 26, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  20. leafs43

    Keep telling yourself Hilary is going to be different.

    November 26, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  21. Old white conservative male

    "unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care"

    This is a total BS statement. There is not a single middle or upper class American out there that is not concerned about their health care. The problem they are having is there pocket book. Obamacare forces those in the middle and upper class to pay a higher price so those that leach of the taxpayer can get more free stuff. The only ones that should get any help are less fortunate children and the REAL physically or mentally impaired.

    November 26, 2013 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  22. Dave

    I admit it is so hard to decide which set of crooks should led congress. Either way we are all screwed.

    November 26, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  23. Don

    There many things wrong with the Obama administration.
    1. He does listen to the people. Acts like a dictator.
    2. He is either not competent and/or has buffoons has his advisors. So he is not honest with US people.
    3. One of many situations he and his administration got themselves in, Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazi, NSA, Syria, Obamacare, ruined foreign relations
    4. He is too political and not logical or does not do the right thing for the people.

    November 26, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  24. Rozzie

    where did U take the poll - & how many people were polled –you expect us to believe this?? We weren't ALL born
    yesterday! Why didn't you print how Boehner lied about how he 'tried to get on Obamacare' - and couldn't -- and how he put the person who answered immediately on hold with music for 45 minutes? Other stations reported it. He lied to the
    American people- due to other media, we know the truth!– he forgot that it was all recorded! Just like Romney with the '47-percenter video!! Hear the recording,folks!!!

    November 26, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  25. Alex

    It was just a matter of time. The biggest threat to Obamacare isn't the big bad Republicans, but Obamacare itself.

    November 26, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 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