Poll: Who's got the early 2014 advantage?
December 13th, 2013
09:11 AM ET
8 months ago

Poll: Who's got the early 2014 advantage?

Washington (CNN) - Eleven months out from the midterm elections, Republicans are slightly more optimistic than Democrats about their party's electoral prospects, according to a new national poll.

And a Pew Research Center/USA Today survey released Friday also indicates voters are roughly divided on whether they'd back the Democrat or Republican in their congressional district if the November 2014 elections were held today.

Fifty-five percent of Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP say they expect their party to do better in the midterms than it's performed in recent elections, with a third saying it will do the same and just 5% saying the party will perform worse.

Democrats and independents who lean toward the party are less confident, with 43% saying the Democratic party will  do better than in recent contests, with an equal amount saying the party will perform the same and 9% predicting things will be worse for the Democrats.

"But the 'expectations gap' is far more modest now than it was prior to the 2010 election, when Republicans were brimming with confidence, or 2006, when most Democrats anticipated a midterm victory," says a release from Pew Research.

Thanks to landslide victories, the Democrats won control of the House and Senate in the 2006 elections, with the GOP retaking the House and narrowing the Democrat's majority in the Senate in 2010 contests.

According to the poll, 53% of Republicans or GOP leaners say they're very enthusiastic about voting, compared to 47% of Democrats or Democratic leaners who feel the same way.

In the survey's generic ballot question, which asks respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates, the Democrats have a slight 48%-44% edge. Opinion is little changed from Pew's October survey.

That differs from a new Quinnipiac University and recent CNN/ORC International, and Fox News polls which indicated that the Democrats' advantage in September and early October on the 2014 generic ballot question had disappeared by November and early December. And a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, which asked which party would you like to see in control of Congress after the 2014 elections, also indicated that Democrats' recent polling advantage had evaporated.

The Democrats surge in the polls came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling. And the drop for the Democrats came after the extremely flawed rollout of the new federal health care law.

Republicans currently have a 17-seat advantage in the 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," cautions CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.


Filed under: 2014 • Congress
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. MaryM

    Hm, I wonder what the republicans and TPers approval rating is?

    December 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    Rudy NYC

    anonymous wrote:

    Republicans said the same thing last year. Did you see what happened to Republicans in 2012? Republicans are making all of the same arguments as in 2012. All Democrats have to do is remind the middle class about what Republicans did in 2010. Remind the public how "jobs, jobs, jobs" turn into "sobs, sobs, sobs" for union workers, for teachers, for women, for the poor, for the LGBT community, for everyone who was deemed to be "not one of us."

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

    Didn't you get the memo Rudy? According to the right, the 2012 elections never happened. They believe the last election we had in America was in 2010.

    December 13, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. just saying

    democrats are going to clean up in 2014. they are going to run on the smashing success of obamacare. right lefties? they are going to run on the smashing success of 7% unemployment 5 years after the recession offically ended. they are going to run on the over $3000 decline in average wages while obama has been in office.

    yes, i'm sure the lsm will help them spin their lies and deceit into another election victory just like they did in 2012.

    or have the american people come out of their coma and realized they have been lied ot and conned for years now?

    December 13, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. dave

    Rudy NYC – In the 2012 elections the dems only picked back up just a few Congressional seats after taking the biggest loss in seats of any party in any one election in over 100 years. That minor gain is truly nothing to brag about. The Dems also lost more governor seats in the 2012 elections. In 2014 there are a lot more Democrat Senate seats up for election than Republican, and many of these democrat seats are in red leaning states, and states which elected Republican governor in 2012. In addition, history shows that the vast majority of time that the party of the setting President looses seats in the President's second term mid term election. No, this does not GUARANTEE that the dems will lose seats in the 2014 elections, but the cards are clearly stacked against them; especially with the frustration that the moderates have with this administration. Those like you, which will always vote dem no matter what are not what will carry the dems this election. Obama has "jumped the shark" with the young voters.

    December 13, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Trump, Rush Limbu, Glenn Beck have more chance from the bottom.......yaaaahoooooo!!!

    December 13, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    ! love watching the GOP implode!

    December 13, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. fonzie

    The Repubs will annihilate the Dems in the elections. The Dems in the Senate and the Dem in the White House has made everything worse. They've had their chance time to change tactics.

    December 13, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. smith

    2014, say bye to the dems in the senate and for sure in the house. Liberals, blame the ACA for your demise. 2016, Christie will win landslide.

    December 13, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Obamacare = Democrats = EPIC FAIL

    Democrats will not be able to out run, nor lie their way through, the massive debalce known as Obamacare.
    It is tied inextricably to them, every Democrat, whether you voted for it or not. It is the work of your party and its leaders.

    Sorry, that is how it works. You screw up, the American people hold you accountable.

    December 13, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Earlier Thursday Huckabee signed off for the last time from his nationally syndicated radio program. Some political observers see Huckabee's dropping of his radio show as a signal that he's starting to position himself for a 2016 run.

    Huckabee will continue to host a weekend TV program on the Fox News Channel.
    -------------–
    This scenario will have to be most carefully watched. We still have some campaign laws left on the books. You want proof, then do a web search for " pennsylvania electoral college ", and read about it for yourself. It will be a nationwide campaign in Republicans controlled states, just like the Voter ID and those Castle Doctrine laws.

    If you can't win under the current rules, then change the rules so that only you can win. Gerrymandering the electoral college would be the absolute dumbest thing that Republicans could ever do.

    December 13, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    OOPS.

    @Fair

    You want proof, then do a web search for " pennsylvania electoral college ", and read about it for yourself. It will be a nationwide campaign in Republicans controlled states, just like the Voter ID and those Castle Doctrine laws.

    If you can't win under the current rules, then change the rules so that only you can win. Gerrymandering the electoral college would be the absolute dumbest thing that Republicans could ever do.

    December 13, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. dave

    DaveYoung
    When asked, “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?,” respondents gave Obama lackluster ratings even in some of his key demographics: just 41 percent of voters 18 to 29 years old and 50 percent of Hispanics said they approved of the job he was doing. On the upside, however, 76 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of black voters polled said they approved of Obama.
    Source : TIME
    -------------------------------
    What it more telling about this information is how far Obama has actually fallen within the polled "democrat" and black \voters. Although still showing very favorable, II bet he is down nearly 10 full point with both these demographics.

    December 13, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. RomneyWho

    And here comes the pawns of the elect, dedicated to and afflicted with Stockholm syndrome . . . A complex psychological condition where the hostage becomes sympathetic towards the kidnappers. The syndrome is named after a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden. It is an example of defense mechanism, in which the person develops emotional attachment with the nearest powerful adult (The republican leadership). The condition is also called Trauma Bonding, in which the victim chooses to remain loyal to the abuser (the republican leadership). Get tested! :(

    December 13, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. king

    if the dems are still in the lead in a generic battle, the repubs with all their gerrymandering and their obamacare demoggogry, might be in big trouble. look on what the repubs with their way superior propaganda machine have been doing to the dems party ever since the bad roll out of obamacare. by golly could it be that the american people are slightly opening their eyes and see that the repubs is all about obstruction and demogogging instead of working for the american people. i wonder what it might be like when obamacare start picking up, and people starting getting more benefits from it. all these dems who ran away from the law in 2010, then end up loosing their jobs, better start saying hell with politics, and push for their fellow citizens to get health insurance.

    December 13, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. davecu

    Anybody but Hillary! The debate would cripple her.
    Let's get an honest, principled candidate from ANY party who would put the needs of the nation over the need and goals of the PARTY!

    December 13, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Shreknangst

    2014 will be the deciding vote for America's future. If the GOP wins, they might well carry 2016, or cripple any Democratic successor to Obama. The new book "President Ted Cruz" looks at the two elections and the behind-the-scenes issues which need to be addressed to avoid plunging America into a post 2016 disaster.
    For now, the Tea Party will consume the GOP and itself - unless the anti-Obama types prove to be more than a very loud 5% of the population. If they exceed 35%, the GOP could carry the day... and America will implode.

    December 13, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    The next election will determine whether America survives or fails, in my view. It is the voters choice, so they need to vote wisely.

    December 13, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -dave

    Rudy NYC – In the 2012 elections the dems only picked back up just a few Congressional seats after taking the biggest loss in seats of any party in any one election in over 100 years. That minor gain is truly nothing to brag about. The Dems also lost more governor seats in the 2012 elections. In 2014 there are a lot more Democrat Senate seats up for election than Republican, and many of these democrat seats are in red leaning states, and states which elected Republican governor in 2012. In addition, history shows that the vast majority of time that the party of the setting President looses seats in the President's second term mid term election. No, this does not GUARANTEE that the dems will lose seats in the 2014 elections, but the cards are clearly stacked against them; especially with the frustration that the moderates have with this administration. Those like you, which will always vote dem no matter what are not what will carry the dems this election. Obama has "jumped the shark" with the young voters.
    ***********************************
    The flip side is, what do the GOP candidates have to offer people if they gain full control of Congress? Have they put forth a single initiative that could gain widepread support? Its easy to say what you are against, but what are you for? Its also hard to jsutify paying the GOP members of Congress 175K or more a year and nothing to show for it as far as the independent voters are concerned. Its not the party faithful that need convincing, its the Independents, and they loathe the GOP and the Democrats equally.However, if the GOP forces another default, or shutdown, they will tip the scales in the favor of the Democrats.

    December 13, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  19. CryBabies

    Its a long time to Nov.2014 but this ACA is a very bad situation that probably will not get better. Still can't believe how bad it was bungled....even I didn't think the democrats were that lame. Guess we'll just have to "embrace the suck"..how eloquent of Madam Pelosi.( How did she ever get to the position she holds today?) Hint; Uneducated voters.

    December 13, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "2014 will be the deciding vote for America's future. "

    It gets obscenely tiring hearing that every 2 years. The sky is not falling. Amurika is not failing. We've been through worse times. The end times are not upon us. The revolution is not nigh. We're not in a giant, horrible tailspin of doom. And we have all the resources we need at our disposal to address the issues and problems facing our nation, government and society, which are all extremely resilient and adaptable and capable of evolving to meet the challenges before us. It just takes time...and of that, we have plenty. The MSM and current naysayer party just don't want you to think so because the latter wants you tuned in out of fear, anger, frustration and obsessive myopia, while the latter just wants you fearful and angry and blaming it on their opponents.

    December 13, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Obamacare = Democrats = EPIC FAIL

    Two and a half moths after the web site launched, less than 3 weeks before people are supposed to have a healthcare plan and the Obamacare web site has no functionality to actually PAY for what the people THINK they bought! Only the lunatic federal government could get away this FRAUD.

    Now they are asking the insurance companies to start insuring people even though they dont' have payment, asking them to let people got to their old doctors, even though they have no insurance and the doctor isn't part of their Obamacare plan! This whole thing has gone compeltely off the tracks and is insane. There will be massive confusion, chaos.

    Welcome to your new healthcare system compliemnts of the Democrats. They KNEW you would prefer this over your old, stodgy stable insruance coverage.

    December 13, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    oops, edit:

    "The MSM and current naysayer party just don't want you to think so because the FORMER wants you tuned in out of fear, anger, frustration and obsessive myopia, while the latter just wants you fearful and angry and blaming it on their opponents."

    December 13, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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