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. Get used to IT tea potty! 3 more yrs to spew ur hate @Obama

    Gallup polls had Mitt Robme leading right up to the election with 5% points and and Queen Ann was already measuring the drapes to the WH...and guess what happened? It was an elecotoral landslide victory for President Obama....Sorry Faux News and Dick Morris didn't see that coming!

    Marinate on that too!!! Lol

    December 13, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. "You can keep your plan, PERIOD." -- Lie of the Year from the Liar of the Century

    As tens of millions of Americans with employer based plans receive notice that they too will lose their healthcare plans thanks to Obamacare, the Democrats will experience the wrath of the American people. Higher premiums, higher out of pocket deductibles, less choice of doctors, hospitlals. This is what the country keeps when you put far left whackjobs in charge of the government.

    December 13, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. rs

    By any measure, the GOP has taken that long walk off a short pier. Their actions are borderline treason (shutting down government; telling people to disobey federal law; putting up scam web sites; lying over and over about the ACA; attempting to make the government default on its financial oblicgations; passing 265 laws that deny women control of their own bodies; taking voting rights from the poor; undermining American diplomacy; and on and on).
    They can spin their faux anger about the ACA, but they have their overt anti-Americanism to sell to the public.

    December 13, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    **************
    Who bore the brunt of the blame, in the public's eye, for the shutdown?Your boys did. Do you really want your party to drop in support because you're convinced that shutdowns help the economy, despite the public perception that it was nothing more than a stunt by the GOP?

    December 13, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. thinking outside the box

    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.
    ___________________________________________________________
    Very true. Changing from population allocation to one favoring geographic location, I believe, is very much akin to giving more say to the "land owners" and less to "the serfs". That fits in quite nicely with the current Republican philosophy.

    December 13, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. jpmichigan

    Only delusional people are those who voted for Obama X2, but mistakes care be learned from and corrected. We needed change on the Hill but not toward Monarchy. ACA has been changed many times by Obama without input from Congress, the way changing a Law is to be done under the Constitution, which Obama took an Oath to defend,, preserve and protect. Only we the people can change our representatives on the Hill, via the voting booth, so I hope everyone uses that POWER to make real change on the HILL.

    December 13, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Sniffit

    "We needed change on the Hill but not toward Monarchy."

    Anatomy of a Teatroll sentence: "Agree agree agree agree you're crazy."

    "ACA has been changed many times by Obama without input from Congress, the way changing a Law is to be done under the Constitution, which Obama took an Oath to defend,, preserve and protect."

    Heckler v. Chaney. Read up.

    December 13, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Sniffit

    "all fof the government workers received their pay for that period so enough of your lies. "

    2 weeks later. What happened in those households for 2 weeks while they weren't getting paid and had no idea when the shutdown would end and backpay would, if ever, be issued?

    December 13, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "so facts, please, not made up baloney."

    Yawn. Let's see...where oh where should I get my understanding of the US economy....hmmmmm....random angry Ticker Teatroll who daily spews conservative dogma or Standard & Poor's economists and their industry-trusted hundreds of years of combined experience and expertise.....oh where oh where shall I find my information?

    December 13, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. rs

    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.
    ___________________________
    In Arizona an entire tourist railroad shut down for the duration of the shut down. Do you think all those people simply drew their pay? Cafes, restaurants and tourist shops- shut down. Their salaries gone, that spending stopped. That cost the Arizona economy millions of dollars. Now multiply that by every National Park that the House shut down. Multiply that by every military base and I think you can see the real damage done. If you don't fine, but the people who didn't get their "vacation" back, or had to skip a mortgage payment or missed their rent bill sure saw it- and they remember the GOP did it.

    December 13, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I'm voting AGAINEST every GOP on the ballot in Florida in the 2014 elections because of their obstruction and incompetence over the last five years and Scott's incompetence as govenor and the incompetence of the GOP Florida legislature !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. S.B. Stein

    The GOP almost always has the advantage in the midterm elections because more of the conservatives come out of the wood work to vote. I can see if the gap narrows a bit but don't see the Democrats taking the House. The Senate would likely state with the Democrats if nothing changes.

    December 13, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. current state of the union

    Shallow mind looking for affirmation that its OK to hate, and the gop eats it up, they can't believe how ignorant some of you are, then you wonder why they say such hateful things without a second thought, they know their base loves to hate, and have a polished system to support it, sad sob, can't run a country on hate, just can't.

    December 13, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. just asking

    Sniffit
    -
    "We needed change on the Hill but not toward Monarchy."
    --
    Anatomy of a Teatroll sentence: "Agree agree agree agree you're crazy."
    --
    "ACA has been changed many times by Obama without input from Congress, the way changing a Law is to be done under the Constitution, which Obama took an Oath to defend,, preserve and protect."
    --
    Heckler v. Chaney. Read up.
    --

    total bunk! this ruling does not give the executive branch carte blanche to make wholesale changes to laws congress passes. discretion in implelmentation does not mean major revisions and changes, which must be passed by congress. until the law has actually been violated though, legal challenges cannot be made. those challenges will be happeneing next year. obama will be found to have violated his constitutional authority, as he already has been in other instances.

    December 13, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Silence DoGood

    "We needed change on the Hill but not toward Monarchy."
    And certainly not to a Theocracy.

    December 13, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. just asking

    Sniffit
    "all fof the government workers received their pay for that period so enough of your lies. "
    --
    2 weeks later. What happened in those households for 2 weeks while they weren't getting paid and had no idea when the shutdown would end and backpay would, if ever, be issued?
    --

    oivay! they did what every other american does every day!! they put it on the credit card!!! again, you make things up, theortical losses, damages. prove your case of damages counselor, you have failed so far.

    December 13, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. just asking

    Sniffit
    --
    "so facts, please, not made up baloney."
    --
    Yawn. Let's see...where oh where should I get my understanding of the US economy....hmmmmm....random angry Ticker Teatroll who daily spews conservative dogma or Standard & Poor's economists and their industry-trusted hundreds of years of combined experience and expertise.....oh where oh where shall I find my information?
    -–

    as i supected, actually knew all along.... you have no facts to back up your statement of $24 billion in 'losses'.

    the lies of the left continue.... no surprise there. it is all they have.

    December 13, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Gunderson

    Aw, Humm,
    Real trick democrats play. Vote for us, we promise if you like your Health Care, you can keep it, Period. Also promise jobs, maybe? No, that's not it, but do promise never ending unemployment benefits. We bill Republicans. You no think we pay for it, do you? Rich no pay fair share, but just elect us, we collect from rich. And lest we forget you also get income equality, no? We no pay for that either. we bill Republicans.

    December 13, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. Sheila

    Who's got the early 2014 advantage ? well I'd say it goes to the republicans, all the way through November, because of the most important issue, which is the failure of the ACA. It is more important that that punt little shutdown thing, which might have cost 24 billion, but it didn't put this country in a financial ruin, compared to what effect the ACA is going to have. That's why there will be a (total) republican congress, in 2014

    December 13, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    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.
    ----------
    They're talking about doing it everywhere Republicans run the state legislature. They've already come up with a new scheme that would have Romney winning PA over Obama with a two to one split for Romney in the electoral delegates. Nice.

    December 13, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    thinking outside wrote:

    "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. ..."

    Very true. Changing from population allocation to one favoring geographic location, I believe, is very much akin to giving more say to the "land owners" and less to "the serfs". That fits in quite nicely with the current Republican philosophy.
    -------------------------
    They cannot make the allocation based totally on geography. What they've been brainstorming ideas like awarding half the delegates based upon the popular vote, and the other half based upon geography.

    December 13, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Democrats,Obama bad for America.

    With all the problems, the decline of this nation, OBama Care, NSA spying, OBama and the Democrats ignoring the Constitution and trying to turn this country into a socialist nation similar to Europe . The Republicans will win the Senate and retain the House and in 2016 a Republican President we will trun this nation back into the great nation it was. The peopel are tired of OBama and the Democrats destroying this country.

    December 13, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. wendel

    very sad if the repo clowns win the mid terms. But you never know how their party members will vote. Remember the voted for all these tea bag trolls. . If they get a chance it will be back to 2007 and the rich just keep getting richer .

    December 13, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Democrats,Obama bad for America.

    Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I'm voting AGAINEST every GOP on the ballot in Florida in the 2014 elections because of their obstruction and incompetence over the last five years and Scott's incompetence as govenor and the incompetence of the GOP Florida legislature !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    _____________________________
    Would you like some cheese to go with that whine

    December 13, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "discretion in implelmentation does not mean major revisions and changes"

    Delaying deadlines and such things fall squarely under Heckler v. Chaney. Suck it up.

    December 13, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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