Poll: Who's got the early 2014 advantage?
December 13th, 2013
09:11 AM ET
9 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. Harold Richards

    Who voted for Obamacare?

    December 13, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    Harold Richards

    Who voted for Obamacare?

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

    Everyone who voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. In other words, the majority of American voters.

    December 13, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Keep fooling yourself with these polls CNN. We The People are not going to forget who flushed $24 BILLION DOLLARS down the drain. Heads will roll!!!

    December 13, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Beware of the Republicans, folks. They pulled "The Sucker Punch" in 2010, by running on jobs and winning, only to reveal their social agenda once they got into office. Much of it failed, but that doesn't mean they won't try it again in the future. Ohio gov. Kasich said 'it was too soon" after his anti-union legislation was defeated.

    Here's one trick that I know that they will try to pull because they've already dropped hints about it and there hasn't been a major negative reaction to the idea. The Republicans will change the way delegates are awarded in Presidential elections. They want to change from a population based allocation, to one that puts more emphasis on geography. For example, A candidate wins a state by 5 points, but loses in 18 out of 20 counties. Republicans feel that a candidate should be rewarded for winning in so many different places. They"re coming up with a set of rules in swing states that would have made Romney the winner in 2012, had they been in place.

    December 13, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  5. Lie of the Year from the Liar of the Century

    Obama and all of the lies told by the Democrats are going to crush them in 2014. Obamacare is the disaster that just keeps on giving. Democrats would be smart if they abandoned it but we all know they would rather go down with the ship, and they will.

    December 13, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Anonymous

    No confusion on my part. I will not be voting for ANY Republicans any time soon.

    December 13, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Bessy

    No confusion on my part. I will not be voting for ANY Republicans any time soon, if ever.

    December 13, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. A True Conservative

    First off – polls are meaningless at this point. Try doing some actual reporting rather than simply posting poll results. Having said that, your article essentially says that every poll except yours says that the Democrat advantage, as measured in polls from a few months ago, has evaporated. So what is your point? Are all of the other polls incorrect...or is yours......?

    December 13, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Bessy

    Whoops ! I didn't know that was how one became anonymous. I didn't see my name so just assumed it didn't go through. Sorry about the repeat.

    December 13, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    One could also argue that voting results on election night is the best indicator of all when it comes to the battle for Congress.

    Get out and vote, folks. Get. Out. And. Vote

    December 13, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. A True Conservative

    @Dutch – so your angry with the Dems for flushing 10 billion down with GM? Wasn't it the Dems telling us a few short months ago how we were making money on the auto bailout? The market has done nothing but rise for the past several years...and the federal government managed to lose money in it.......that speaks volumes about the competence of the federal government!!

    December 13, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. just asking

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes
    Keep fooling yourself with these polls CNN. We The People are not going to forget who flushed $24 BILLION DOLLARS down the drain. Heads will roll!!!
    ---

    what is this mythical $24 billion? who lost it? the economic figures for that period show the economy was up, not down. maybe we should have more government shutdowns as that seems to have been the only thing that has improved the economy lately.

    December 13, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -A True Conservative

    @Dutch – so your angry with the Dems for flushing 10 billion down with GM? Wasn't it the Dems telling us a few short months ago how we were making money on the auto bailout? The market has done nothing but rise for the past several years...and the federal government managed to lose money in it.......that speaks volumes about the competence of the federal government!!
    **********************
    What would have been the cost to the economy had GM and Chrysler gone under? Do you only view things in the short term, or do you see what that would have done to the economy at large? Its a pity when idological purity keeps people from seeing a larger picture. If John Kasich was happy with the bailout, why aren't you?

    December 13, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    A True Conservative
    @Dutch – so your angry with the Dems for flushing 10 billion down with GM? Wasn't it the Dems telling us a few short months ago how we were making money on the auto bailout? The market has done nothing but rise for the past several years...and the federal government managed to lose money in it.......that speaks volumes about the competence of the federal government!!
    --------------------------------------------
    Is GM alive and kicking? I rest my case!

    December 13, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  15. Areoth

    Nice an early 2014 poll at the end of 2013. Because calling it an end of 2013 poll would not be as grabbing. What happened CNN?

    December 13, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. GwemM

    They thought Romney was winning up to the moment the election was declared for Obama. Can anyone say delusional?

    December 13, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. Sniffit

    I'd be confident too if my party was running around desperately implementing as many ways as they could think of to disenfranchise people who trend towards voting for the other guys.

    December 13, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "angry with the Dems for flushing 10 billion down with GM?"

    Derpy doo?

    GM – $10B and an industry giant and thousands and thousands of jobs saved.

    GOP – $24B on shutting down the gov't and absolutely nothing achieved whatsoever.

    Any questions?

    December 13, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. Sniffit

    "what is this mythical $24 billion? who lost it? the economic figures for that period show the economy was up, not down. maybe we should have more government shutdowns as that seems to have been the only thing that has improved the economy lately."

    LOL. Really? You're really going to argue that gov't funding drying up with respect to projects and contracts and hundreds of thousands of gov't workers being furloughed WITHOUT PAY for over two weeks, thus causing a major contraction in demand, actually causes the economy to do better? Despite all the expert opinions, data and objectively measurable indicators that prove it has the opposite effect, did have the opposite effect and that the economy could have been much better had we not self-inflicted that wound? You're a real piece of work, champ.

    December 13, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Dead Bear

    I will never vote Republican because they don't understand an issue until it happens to them. It seems impossible for them to consider any other perspective other than their own. Their viewpoints are self-serving and that is what makes them bad representatives of the people.

    December 13, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    Greatest LIE of ALL times that cost us over 4000 US lives and put our economy into a tailspin of the worst recession ever experienced in US history: " We will be greeted as liberators" & "Mission Accomplished" – GW BUSH

    marinate on that gop tea pottty!!! LOL

    December 13, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. mytjoe

    that is enough of your foolishness!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. just asking

    Sniffit
    -–
    "what is this mythical $24 billion? who lost it? the economic figures for that period show the economy was up, not down. maybe we should have more government shutdowns as that seems to have been the only thing that has improved the economy lately."
    -–
    You're really going to argue that gov't funding drying up with respect to projects and contracts and hundreds of thousands of gov't workers being furloughed WITHOUT PAY for over two weeks,
    -–

    all fof the government workers received their pay for that period so enough of your lies. they got a two week paid vacation. and exactly what "dired up"? come on, provide actual numbers for actual items. enough of this made up bs you throw out there.

    now the $10 billion in losses for bailing out gm are very real and documented. (even though they have billions on hand and could repay it).

    and the billions lost in green energy boondoogles like solyndra, those are real and docuemnted losses.

    so facts, please, not made up baloney.

    December 13, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Here's one trick that I know that they will try to pull because they've already dropped hints about it and there hasn't been a major negative reaction to the idea. The Republicans will change the way delegates are awarded in Presidential elections. They want to change from a population based allocation, to one that puts more emphasis on geography. For example, A candidate wins a state by 5 points, but loses in 18 out of 20 counties. Republicans feel that a candidate should be rewarded for winning in so many different places. They"re coming up with a set of rules in swing states that would have made Romney the winner in 2012, had they been in place.
    --------
    If you're talking about the rules in Maine and Nebraska where the electoral votes can be split, that is a state's right to do so.

    December 13, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. Gunderson

    Wow,
    State Oregon spend 300 million on Obama Care sign up 44 people. Now that what I call Platinum Plan. When Conservatives get bill they may replace with cardboard plan. HI Yo Silver !! Sorry Dead Bear, you beat dead horse to death. Now money run out. Maybe you need call your Nanny, if you can find them.

    December 13, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
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