CNN Poll: GOP has edge in early midterm indicator
December 26th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
8 months ago

CNN Poll: GOP has edge in early midterm indicator

Washington (CNN) - Democrats have lost their advantage and Republicans now have a slight edge in the battle for control of Congress, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates that President Barack Obama may be dragging down Democratic congressional candidates, and that the 2014 midterm elections are shaping up to be a low-turnout event, with only three in 10 registered voters extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year.

Two months ago, Democrats 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 evaporated, and a CNN poll a month ago indicated the GOP holding a 49%-47% lead. The new survey, conducted in mid-December, indicates Republicans with a 49%-44% edge over the Democrats.

The 13-point swing over the past two months follows a political uproar over Obamacare, which included the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov and controversy over the possiblity of insurance policy cancelations due primarily to the new health law.

"Virtually all the movement toward the GOP has come among men," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Fifty-four percent of female voters chose the Democratic candidate in October; 53% pick the Dem now. But among male voters, support for Democratic candidates has gone from 46% in October to just 35% now."

Republicans have a 17-seat advantage in the House and Democrats hold 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 cautioned.

"A year before the 2010 midterms, for example, the Democrats held a 6-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 added.

Lack of enthusiasm

According to the poll, only three in 10 registered voters say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for Congress next year, compared to more than four in 10 who felt that way in late 2009. And 43% say they're not enthusiastic about voting, up from 25% who felt that way four years ago.

Democratic voters seem particularly unenthusiastic about voting, and that is likely to benefit the GOP. Thirty-six percent of Republicans say they're extremely or very enthusiastic about voting. That number drops to 22% among Democrats.

Another GOP advantage is the President's standing with the public: 55% of registered voters say that they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who opposes the President than one who supports him and four in 10 say they are likely to vote for a candidate who supports Obama.

"Those kind of numbers spelled early trouble for the Democrats before the 1994 and 2010 midterms, and for the GOP before the 2006 elections," Holland said.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from December 16-19, with 1,035 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: 2014 • CNN/ORC International poll
soundoff (654 Responses)
  1. Clinton Alexander

    dream on paul and heime

    December 26, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  2. Crawford

    Now that all Americans are forced to purchase insurance through the exchange or individually, they are seeing what the Affordable Health Care Act is all about. It is anything BUT affordable for many Americans. A $5,000.00 deductible is a lot of money to fork out before your insurance kicks in. It would be more affordable if you could take the premiums you have to pay each month and use it towards the cost of your health care, but then that would make too much sense, wouldn't it?

    December 26, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    anthony ta wrote:

    Maybe one day obama will become the president of china or russia cuz only those countries can force their people to buy thing they dont want
    -------------------------
    The government already forces you to buy things, many things. If you live in a warmer climate, red state, then you are probably "forced to buy" central air-conditioning in your new house.

    Only in America can a political party that wears a "Personal Responsibility" feather in their caps would go around promoting the idea that people shouldn't be required to take personal responsiblity for paying for their own health care, especially after they had been promoting "taking personal responsiblity for your health care" for nearly two decades.

    December 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. SerfCityHereWeCome

    I can see Mitch McQuisling in a panic over the prospect of losing his title of Minority Leader.

    December 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  5. John

    Everyone is about bashing, and nobody wants to discuss facts.

    Why is the GOP leading right now? It is quite simple, Obamacare is hurting working Americans. Add in that jobs are still terrible. We are basically stagnant.

    Americans want to see something positive happen for them, and many are sick of busting their humps, and others reaping the rewards. Obama came in with the hope and change mentality, and he and the Dems have changed things, but for the worse. This is not to say the GOP or someone else would do better. I think people tried the change, and it has been a negative effect on many.

    People want to know they will go to work, and be able to make it. They do not want to have their checks be destroyed from more and more taxes.

    December 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  6. Freedom311

    It's high time the fanatical leftists showed their true colors, so thank goodness Obama and the Dems have exposed them for who they are. It was easy for them to buy votes by playing Santa with other people's money, but now that they have hit the middle class in the groin with their foolish Utopian dreams....people are waking up to the fact that their pie in the sky is based on lies and false promises.

    December 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. Max17

    What Democrats don't want to admit is that the destruction we're going through today is the 'good half' of obamacare. ROFL! The Democrats' War on Health Care really ratchets up next year when the 'bad half' starts taking effect. Democrats think they can delay past the midterms, but they have badly miscalculated several calendar events.

    In January, the news will come out that because of obamacare, fewer people are insured in 2014 than in 2013.

    Young, healthy people are not too eager to transfer their wealth to a more affluent demographic. Only the elderly and very sick are currently signing up. That means skyrocketing premium prices next year. obama is trying to hide it by making the sign-up date start in mid-November instead of Oct 1 like this year. What he forgot is that the premiums have to be reviewed and approved by state regulatory agencies. Does anyone think the red state governors are going to help obama hide the new prices until after the election? ROFL!

    Employer plans are slated to be cancelled prior to 2015. Those cancellation notices must be delivered 90 days before the policies are terminated. That means the letters start flying in September and October. According to the obama administration (Federal Register, June 17, 2010), as many as 100,000,000 cancellations (not a typo, 100M) could take place. And whatever the number, they happen a month or two BEFORE the November election.

    So 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for Republicans. Democrats are unlikely to come to their senses and repeal their disaster by June or July, which is the only thing that might save them. If they don't, 2014 is going to make the 2010 bloodbath look like a paper cut. And by taking the WH in 2016, Republicans will have the ability to repeal this disaster. Will Democrats figure that out before the middle of next year? Tick tock... tick tock...

    December 26, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. tom l

    @Sniffit
    "The problem with responding to him and using the word "socialism" as part of your response is that Teatrolls haven't the slightest clue what socialism actually means and is. It's like that anti-drug commercial...they learned the habit of saying it from watching Faux, Beck, Limbaugh, whoever....but they didn't have the slightest idea what they were doing when it started and now it's just an out of control obsessive-compulsive behavior."

    ========

    Socialism: a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies

    Are you saying that you're not in support of this? From reading your posts it appears to me this is exactly what you want. You want single payer which is absolutely socialism. You want the govt to control the oil companies and take over because you don't trust them. You want the govt to tell banks how to run themselves (how to lend money, etc) which is, yet again, socialism. Tell me how you differ with that definition.

    December 26, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. Obama – Liar of the Year

    Another GOP advantage is the President's standing with the public: 55% of registered voters say that they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who opposes the President than one who supports him and four in 10 say they are likely to vote for a candidate who supports Obama.
    --

    The opposition to Obamacare gave Republicans control of the House in 2010. In 2014, the reality of Obamacare and all the lies that were told the American people will give Republicans control of the Senate. In 2016, any presidential candidate refusing to support repeal of Obamacare, will lose. So who will the Democrats run in 2016 that will repeal Obamacare?

    December 26, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  10. Beca

    Those Dems going to fall on a sword for their false messiah. Then the false messiah going to be impeached. Lovin' It!

    December 26, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Barbara

    This Independent will be voting Rep this time around.

    December 26, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. MikeCornelison.com

    @Clinton Alexander: "remember hitler wanted to get rid of the poor disabled just like the tea party and gop wants to do, so gop and tea party is nazis"

    This is the level of intelligence of the average Obama voter, people.

    December 26, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. jim g

    Clinton Alexander--Your grasp of logic is...........non-existent. lol

    December 26, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Shutupalready

    We had a divided household, one of us Dem one of us Republican. It's now a full Republican household.

    December 26, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Commentator

    Yes, the angry old white men demographic rules the world because they actually vote! The rest of you complainers that don't vote had best not forget it.

    December 26, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. srcactus

    The rank and file political class is about to meet the majority of voters, independent and independent leaning voters. By the time November 2014 rolls around it is forecast that 50% of doctors in the USA will be turning patients away because the cost to treat them will be less than Obamacare pays. Actually this has already started as a result of a poorly thought out legislation. Democratic politicians went alone into the pit that has become ACA and will, figuratively speaking, hang alone

    December 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. SerfCityHereWeCome

    Lol, that was hilarious hearing him trying to explain away early polling as insignificant because the Depressioncrats had a big LEAD at this time in '10. Are you sure you want to use that example?

    December 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Garrett from Texas

    "MNClownfactory

    Reading through these posts reaffirms that critics of the ACA still don't understand how it works, who it affects or what the costs are to the average American. Once the ACA gets rolling in January these will be the facts.

    Hundreds of thousands of ppeople will have health insurance when they couldnt get it in the past.
    Students will be able to rememain on their parents insurance until 26 yrs of age.
    no one can be rejected for pre exisiting conditions.
    small businesses will be able to insure employee's for less.
    The costs of uninsured people going to the emergency room will begin being paid for by mandatory costs (which are very cheap) to those who refuse to get health care."

    ----

    Hundreds of thousands gaining health insurance at the cost of millions losing it isn't a good thing.
    Students also has health insurance available through their school.
    No one being rejected for pre existing conditions, while a good thing for them, is bad for the premiums of everyone else – making the Affordable Care Act unaffordable.
    Small businesses didn't have to employ people before AT ALL, so it isn't for LESS. More than none is for MORE.
    Those people do not have to pay the emergency room anymore so now than they did before they had health insurance, because emergency rooms can not legally deny them care. Only now, those people have to pay insurance too and they have less money to feed their children. Premiums will still go up on the rest of us who do responsibly pay our health care and insurance and nothing will change except that the poor will be poorer and the middle class will be catching up to them faster and the insurance companies will get richer.

    Clearly while you think that people don't know how the ACA works, you don't know how insurance and business economics works.

    December 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Our Children, Our Future

    Do any of you have kids? Do you care about them at all? Well, sure wish the Republicans did as well but that's another story! classwarfareexists.com/the-republican-war-on-kids/ In order to adequately take care of children, our most prized possessions and our future, it takes the Democrats! There's no doubt about it!

    December 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  20. ChrisM

    Sorry Guys, The Entire Country saw what the repubs did in the states the last four years, hence the win in Va . And as far as the ACA is concerned, The republicans said the same things about Social Security and Medicare. So when all is said and done the republicans will still suck and they know it.

    December 26, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Freedom311

    It's high time the fanatical leftists showed their true colors, so thank goodness Obama and the Dems have exposed them for who they are. It was easy for them to buy votes by playing Santa with other people's money, but now that they have hit the middle class in the groin with their foolish Utopian dreams
    --------------------------
    Buy votes by playing Santa? How? I hear the accusation, but you lack any specifices much less actual facts. Sorry, Charlie. It was Ronald Reagan who started the free cell phone program.

    December 26, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. sqeptiq

    "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." -H L Mencken

    50% think evolution is false. 40% think WMD were found in Iraq. Enough said.

    December 26, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Donna

    Obama and Obamacare.... two 500lb. ANCHORS that will drag ALL Democrat candidates to the bottom of the polls. Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the rest of the far left Democrats have really, REALLY screwed up by wrecking the entire healthcare system instead of fixing specific problems with it. Republicans have been trying for 4 years to save the American people from this debacle but have been obstructed by Obama and the Democrats. The ONLY viable rememdy is to vote all of the Democrats OUT so Obamacare can be repealed. This is simply NO FIXING this Frankenstein.

    December 26, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Nopeopepo

    Always remember, Distract, Deceive, Divide!

    December 26, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Kike

    - Oh U R saying, congress isn't back from LazyVacation Country Land yet? but no worries, i pay taxes, n do not receive 100K + salary and I do my job! what the hell is my problem? i thought i was the problem but again I am wrong. Regardless of all and everything: God Still Bless America.

    December 26, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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