Poll: Who's got the early 2014 advantage?
December 13th, 2013
09:11 AM ET
4 years 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. Sniffit

    "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."

    So you're argument is that S&P would not qualify as an expert, would have no objective data to provide a foundation for their opinions , could not possibly even provide a cogent, well-reasoned explanation for their opinion and would not be found credible by the jury? That's cute.

    December 13, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. Sniffit

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

    I don't need to rewrite S&P's reports for you here on the Ticker. Citing to them is sufficient. Read what they said and relied on for yourself. It doesn't just go away and cease to exist just because you pretend it's not there.

    December 13, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    -just asking

    "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.
    Interesting how easily the most dogmatic blogger on here dismisses the notion that he might be wrong. If you are so confident that Sniffit is lying, please look at the sources he suggests and ask yourself who you would trust: people with a partisan axe, or people who are professionals. It would suggest you are work-averse, like so many of the ideologcally correct on here.

    December 13, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. just saying

    I guess it depends on if the obama adminstration will once again illegally use the irs to attack political adversaries and use them to suppress political opponents like the tea party. they did it in the last two elections so no reason to think they won't do it again in 2014 & 2016.

    December 13, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @ bad for america " Republican President we will trun this nation back into the great nation it was."

    What date did you have in mind? 1776 when the experiment was new and only rich white male land owners could vote? The civil war when we tore ourselves apart? The 1950's when McCarthy was grand inquisitor? The cold war when we almost blew up the world?

    The way it was never was. The only choice is to move into the future.

    December 13, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  6. TONE

    Republicans will lose the house before the midterm elections in 2014 mark my words Nancy Pelosi will hold that gravel very soon. The teatrolls love to use the word primaried to every republican that want to do the right thing for this country, those same republicans will change party affiliation to independent, and caucus with the dems before the 2014 elections.

    December 13, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Gunderson

    Holy Credit rating,
    Why US Credit Rating down. You say Republican's blow 24 Billion in Shutdown. Liberal's blow 17 Trillion and want raise Debt Celing, again. You like? "Dummy" Care killing jobs. You like? You want to get to hell? Keep going, you get there. If you have job, thank a Republican. You get Welfare Check. Thank a Republican. If you have good road to drive to work, thank a Republican. You have a nice place to work, THANK A REPUBLICAN!!

    December 13, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. pete veslocki

    Obama has damaged our country and all Democrats chances of re-election.

    Boehner simply can't lead the Republican party that has become a headless mob.

    So as the publics opinions swing towards fiscal solvency, equitible simplification of our tax code, national defense, education and long over due immigration reform along humanitarian lines independents may well form a third party that will bring unity and real progress in resolving problems before our country.

    Simply put: The dead wood must go.

    December 13, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. daviddavid

    Campaign slogan for GOP in 2014:
    "If you don't like your Obamacare coverage, you don't have to keep your Democratic Senator who voted for it..."

    These are the Democrats
running for re-election in 2014 who voted for Obamacare:
    1.Mark Begich, AK

2.Dick Durbin, Il

Al Franken, MN

Kay Hagan, NC

    5.Mary Landrieu, LA

    6.Jeff Merkley, OR

    7.Mark Pryor, AR

    8.Jack Reed, RI

    9.Jeanne Shaheen NH

Mark Udall, CO

    11.Tom Udall NM

Mark Warner VA

    December 13, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. 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

    December 13, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. anonymous

    Polls show that 52% of Americans think Obama is not honest or trustworthy. 44% think he is.

    That 44% of the population represent the biggest danger to the future of this country as they do not possess the intelligence level to know when they are being lied to and conned. Either that or they are getting free stuff from the government and don't want it to stop so continue to support the liars running our governemnt. This is a form of soft corruption that threatens our country's future.

    December 13, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Thomas

    Take the Louie" Gohmert advantage test .

    It takes more then good looks to win in Texas .

    And remember , we are all going to miss Michele Marie Bachmann and her home cooking.

    December 13, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Dan

    @Tone: Lol, even the dems won't be caucusing with the dems in 2014. Get ready for Obamacare bad news 24/7 next year

    December 13, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Liberal's blow 17 Trillion and want raise Debt Celing, again. "

    Aaaw, Captain Babytalk is once again pretending that the $17M debt isn't overwhelmingly related to Bush era policies and the recession. It's so cute when they daydream, isn't it?

    December 13, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC


    Polls show that 52% of Americans think Obama is not honest or trustworthy. 44% think he is.
    So, what. What difference does it make? Pres. Obama is never running for elected office again. What are Dubya's numbers?

    December 13, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Democrats - The Party of Lies, Deceit and Corruption

    Every Democrat up for re-lection in 2014 knows they are toast because of the massive lies that wer etold to the American people by Pbama, Reid, Pelosi and every one of THEM. Only Democrats from safe, Democrat gerrymandered districts are safe. Those Democrat Senators though must run state-wide and that exposes them greatly.

    Two rules Democrats, don't fool Mother Nature and never lie to the American people, especially about something as personal as their healthcare, doctors and hospital. And then there is all the money your nailing them for as well. Yup, not looking good!

    December 13, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Marcuscassius

    I think the GOP has a great chance of getting back in power. After treating women like dirt, offending every minority out there. Ruining education. Crashing the government...twice, giving up two wars and dunking the nation in $13 trillion in debt, doing absolutely nothing for the last five years but stop the recovery.... I think most Americans want to see what they'll do next!

    December 13, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. current state of the union

    Just,, nice, on to the next talking point, sorry to tell you bub, but that one is weaker than the last one, ha ha. Say it again, its getting hard to be a Republican, the nonsense, and deciet you must absorb daily is more than sanity can sustain, and then you sound like you, desperate for reality to conform to your ideology, no wonder you struggle so.

    December 13, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. luke,az

    The " Guns Over People" party is quickly fading away. Their constant obstruction to the President's agenda will keep them out of the White House for the next 100 years. Democrats will take over the House in 2014 as the moderate Republicans try to take back their party from the tea party confederates.

    December 13, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. anonymous

    Rudy NYC
    Polls show that 52% of Americans think Obama is not honest or trustworthy. 44% think he is.
    So, what. What difference does it make? Pres. Obama is never running for elected office again. What are Dubya's numbers?

    Because he is the leader of the Democrats and a sitting President. Did you see what happened to the Republicans in the 2006 elections? Even worse is coming fro the Democrats in 2014. But that is OK, keep tryin gto convince yourself eveything is AOK and the Demorcats are going to sweep to a massive victory based on the huge success of Obamacare.

    December 13, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. current state of the union

    No wonder he talks like a baby,deep in denial, how can you possibly expect to carry credibility when you say Obama caused the 17 trillion deficit, all the credibility your vernacular can muster, nice.

    December 13, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Tina O

    Can somebody please tell me why 280 million Americans had to have their healthcare affected? If there was a problem with some people not having healthcare, why was the solution to wreck the healthcare of everybody else? Isn't the first rule of medicine :First Do No Harm"?

    December 13, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    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.
    Please cite your source of information, especially whio the "they" are in your statement "they're talking about doing it blah blah blah". Otherwise I say you're making it up. Nevertheless, if ANY state wishes to change how it's electoral votes are allocated, be it winner-take-all or by congressional district, that is the perogative of the state, citing Maine and Nebraska as examples. You don't like it? Suck it up.

    December 13, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. simplyput

    The *collective* has bullied and spoken. When they can get you to believe in governing by polls, they'll be so happy.

    December 13, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    anonymous wrote:

    Because he is the leader of the Democrats and a sitting President. Did you see what happened to the Republicans in the 2006 elections? Even worse is coming fro the Democrats in 2014. ......
    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."

    December 13, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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