Poll: GOP has 2014 enthusiasm advantage
March 26th, 2014
11:13 AM ET
4 months ago

Poll: GOP has 2014 enthusiasm advantage

Washington (CNN) – Republicans have an edge in enthusiasm over Democrats as the Midterm Election season begins to heat up, according to a new national survey.

Seventy percent of registered Republican voters questioned in a new CBS News poll say they are very or somewhat excited about voting in November, compared to 58% of Democrats. Only 47% of independent voters say they're very or somewhat excited to cast ballots in the midterms. And 81% of registered Republicans say they'll definitely vote in November, compared to 68% of registered Democrats.

Voter intensity is just one of a slew of indicators used to gauge what may actually happen come election day, and is not always accurate.

"These data are best read as a reflection of the enthusiasm difference as the campaign starts, rather than as predictive of turnout," adds the release from CBS News.

A vote for or against Obama?

President Obama's not on the ballot come November, but Republicans are framing the contests as a referendum on the President and his policies, especially the Affordable Care Act, which is commonly known as Obamacare. The poll indicates that 29% see the midterms as a chance to vote against Obama, with 19% seeing their vote as a move to support the President. Forty-six percent say the President's not a factor in their vote.

"Most Republican voters (52%) see the upcoming midterm elections as a chance to vote against the President. By contrast, fewer Democrats (43%) see 2014 as a chance to support President Obama. For most independents (55%) the President isn't a factor at all – but those who see a connection are breaking more than two-to-one against him," says the CBS release.

According to the poll, Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked at 39% in the generic ballot question. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey indicated the GOP holding an insignificant one-point margin (44%-43%) over the Democrats.

The generic ballot question, which asks to choose between a Democrat or Republican in respondents' congressional district without identifying the candidates, is one of the most commonly used indicators when it comes to the battle for Congress. But since the battle for the House of Representatives are 435 individual races rather than one national contest, the poll results are a long way from predicting what will happen in midterm elections.

State of Play

Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party), but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up in November, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

In the House, Democrats need to pick up 17 GOP-held seats to win back control of the Republican-led chamber, a feat political handicappers say is unlikely considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts.

When it comes to governors' races, the GOP's defending 22 of the 36 seats up for grabs in November. And some of them are in states that Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Maine, Nevada and New Mexico.

The CBS News poll was conducted March 20-23, with 1,097 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: 2014 • Republican Party
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Dead Bear

    The congressional district in which I live has been gerrymandered to Hell and back. The GOP congressmen has such an unfair advantage that he is running unopposed. How am I supposed to get excited about that???... However the silver lining is I get to vote a hugely unpopular Republican governor out of office so I'll be definitely going to the polls.

    March 26, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama:

    "It will, however, more than likely be my last political hurrah....unless Hillary lights my fire...."

    Hey, but this is EXACTLY what I'VE been trying to say to you. I'm done with the dog and pony shows. There is very little difference I can make from Minnesota anyway ... which contrary to our media will always be democratic.

    I refuse to support national figures who are at best whimpy and at the very least whiners. Got a message to run on? Stick with it. Otherwise it's blowing in the wind regardless of political party ... reminiscent of Chris Matthews screeching the sky is falling. I use him as an example because I flipped channels the other night and happened to catch his whine.

    Doom and gloom ... gloom and doom. Brings a body down. Politically and otherwise.

    What I won't do is spend the next 6 years chastising the next President of the United States.

    March 26, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. asdf

    Mmm-hmm, right. Just like they did in 2012.

    "Enthusiasm" for a primary doesn't mean a damn thing. All a primary is is a sales pitch to your own team to let you in. How about some actual news CNN?

    March 26, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Sorry DM. The mods that won't let me post are on..... Can't have us talking positive about blacks.....

    March 26, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    DM. Google African Americans Many Rivers to cross. I've tried replying to you 5 times and can't get a comment through. Maybe if I bashed the POTUS.....

    March 26, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. dl

    More show. less go

    March 26, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Teapotty Party... Dumb or stupid Party?

    like they were about the King romney landslide.. we wil see what happens after the votes are counted.

    March 26, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Dave

    Democrats don't need to spend two years whining and being angry over the last election. We'll be motivated in November. Expect it. The once GOP can lie to itself all it wants.

    March 26, 2014 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We heard this in the previous elections and they lost.

    March 26, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. rdg18

    Anyone other than a liberal/dem will be fine with me.

    March 26, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  11. De Odorizer

    I am totally and entirely enthusiastic about my golf game too!!!
    Am I any good at it? Nope.
    Am I making financial gains from it? Nope, quite the opposite.
    Am I fooling people about how good I am at golfing? Not hardly a soul...

    So, dear GOP hopefuls, be enthusiastic, clean house , which is long overdue (Tparty out, religious right -out) , and we'll take another look at you and see if you can handle "governing" without catering only to the right and the 1 percenters..

    March 26, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. budshot

    Crazy people are always more motivated.

    March 26, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. ireuel

    What different s does it make? Neither party is any good at running this country. 17.3 trillion dollars in debt combined between both parties. That is just the know debt. You know I didn't vote for either of the choices for president in 08 or 12. It just doesn't matter when the perpetual motions are in place that no one can stop. The death of another failed country as brought to you by a bunch of bureaucrats that only see the economy in and around Washington DC. Any wonder why that is the fastest growing economy in the country. They borrow as much as they can and spread it out like it is theirs to spend. I at this point have no intentions of voting for either of these two parties until they or the gets the (you know what ) together. Do have a nice day.

    March 26, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. CommonSensed

    No – this is the religious zeal of zealots. They are continuing their platform of hate and can-kicking and stirring enthusiasm via talking points designed to incite righteous indignation.

    Until they abandon their march towards Christian Sharia law they will continue to alienate the moderates they need to win.

    Nothing new.

    March 26, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. greenaxe

    Same enthusiasm Faux News saw in the 2012 Election. We know how that turned out.

    March 26, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. GTS58

    But the Democrats have an huge and ever growing "Army of Welfare Voters" dependent up government for food, housing, medical care, etc." – they realize voting for the GOP might take away or trim some of their free goodies. Fact is – there are more non producers than producers – that's the bottom line! Even the ancient Greek philosophers warned about these dangers centuries ago! People figure out the can "vote themselves free stuff" and that is exactly what is going on!

    March 26, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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