Poll: GOP has 2014 enthusiasm advantage
March 26th, 2014
11:13 AM ET
8 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. rs

    Indeed the GOP has "enthusiasm". Enthusiasm for driving-while-Hispanic laws; for laws that will enshrine the "rights" of individuals to discriminate if they scream "religion" loud enough; enthusiasm for taking away the voting rights of minorities, the poor and women; and enthusiasm for punishing the poor for not being rich: to spare the fetus but starve the child.
    The GOP has become America's hate party. Unfortunately that seems to really resonate with their base.

    March 26, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    And don't forget the MSM rs.......

    March 26, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. sonny chapman

    Hate is a powerful political tool. Just ask Karl Rove about Ohio in 2004 & Gay Bashing. Or, former Repub. Operative & now Log Cabin Ken Mehlman.

    March 26, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    President Romney approves this message.

    FIFY

    March 26, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    GOP, let me ask the straight forward question–you hate American Middle-Class, you hate American Women, American poor, Blacks, Asian Americans, Spanish Americans etc. Whomever do you like? Only white, Rich? Change your Attitude, strive for this nation's progress. This nation does not belong just Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson Ann Coulter nor Rush. It belongs to all the citizenry. God bless!!!,

    March 26, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well of course they are excited they have everything to gain.
    Imagine: they gain the Senate and THIS President's administration comes to a complete and grinding halt, as well as any semblance of progress for our nation.
    They don't gain the Senate and keep the House and they can continue to block THIS President's agenda whilst simultaneously continuing to hold the country hostage everytime they take it into their head to do so.
    Democrats and anyone else aligned witht he work THIS President is committed to doing for our country needs to get it into their heads that this election in November is AS IMPORTANT as the 2012 Presidential election.
    The Rethuglikklans have not stopped looking for ways to invalidate the results of the 2012 election if we stay home and let them beat us to the polls in numbers we will be giving them the reigns to our country and we might as well NOT have re-elected President Obama in 2012 for all the good it'll do us if the GOP gains the Senate and keeps the House.
    Screw around and sleep in in November so that you can wake up to your worst nightmare come true.

    March 26, 2014 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Tony

    According to a CBS News Poll and a GWU/Battleground Poll, Democrats and Republicans are now tied on the 2014 generic congressional ballot. Rasmussen Poll gives Democrats a 4-point lead. FOX News Poll gives Democrats a 2-point lead. If Republicans are tied with or losing to Democrats even though Republicans have an edge in enthusiasm, they are in big, big trouble.

    March 26, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. CB FL

    If the Dems don't get out the vote in Nov. they deserve what they get.

    March 26, 2014 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Brava Dominican Mama my sista!!!

    March 26, 2014 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. kurt

    "According to a CBS News Poll and a GWU/Battleground Poll, Democrats and Republicans are now tied on the 2014 generic congressional ballot. Rasmussen Poll gives Democrats a 4-point lead. FOX News Poll gives Democrats a 2-point lead. If Republicans are tied with or losing to Democrats even though Republicans have an edge in enthusiasm, they are in big, big trouble."

    Not really... because the democrats are defending seats in red states.

    Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska, South Dakota, West Virginia... these are all red states that Democrats won in 2008 with a presidential year turnout.

    North Carolina and Iowa are purplish, but still worrisome.

    Colorado, New Hampshire and Michigan are only really possible if the GOP turnout edge is way better then normal.

    It's not about how the nation feels, it's the fact that a lot of red states have blue senators either retiring or defending dangerous seats.

    On the flip side... 2016 is the opposite. The GOP will be defending a lot of seats won in a midterm in blue or purple states in a presidential election where democrats turnout better. The GOP cold easily take the Senate... but it will likely only be for 2 years because they'll be on the opposite end of the same situation they're benefitting from now.

    March 26, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. smith

    The GOP will keep the house and the Dems will keep the senate. There is just not enough interest in the mid-terms to make any changes right now. I can't say I blame the voting block, more people everyday are coming to terms that the GOP and Dems are nothing but paid puppets.

    March 26, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Take a sheet of single ply Scott tissue, ball it up, fold it, spread your cheeks and wipe. That's how enthusiastic I am about the GOP.

    March 26, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    Republicans have courted the Radical Right and with them came fear and hate and conspiracy theories. The GOP is counting using this fear and murky thinking to get out their vote. The liberals in this country need to get out and vote for the smart people who see things as they are.

    March 26, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  14. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    According to who? This kind of reporting was once thought of as yellow journalism. Today, it's accepted as mainstream.

    March 26, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Tony

    Kurt, I understand what you are saying. I am saying that there is no reason for Democrats to be depressed. Depression leads to lower turnout, which is what Republicans want. Democrats, there is no law that says that you must stay home in a midterm election, and let Republicans have all the fun. Republicans may win in the red states this year. in 2016, it is going to be a different story. Remember, 2012 came after 2010. 2016 will come after 2014.

    March 26, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama:

    "Screw around and sleep in in November so that you can wake up to your worst nightmare come true."

    Guess we know how we'll be spending our "off" time on election day: GOTV.

    Car vans; mini-vans; hoveround power chairs; whatever it takes, each one of us doing what is necessary, yes my friend?

    March 26, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Lolo

    Go vote People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith

    The GOP will keep the house and the Dems will keep the senate. There is just not enough interest in the mid-terms to make any changes right now. I can't say I blame the voting block, more people everyday are coming to terms that the GOP and Dems are nothing but paid puppets.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I hope you're right smith.
    It would be ideal for the Dems to gain the House but I just don't see it happenning, I don't feel the sense of urgency. No fire.
    In regards to the second part of your post, for the most part, you're right as well.

    March 26, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein

    If the Democrats can't get their people out to the polls to vote, then they are losing the Senate. If people who are eligible to vote and don't, then they have no right to complain about the results of the election. That is why I have voted in just about every election I was eligible.

    March 26, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    smith

    @Malory-Gore would have been potus if it wasn't for Ralph Nader and Micheal Moore. If Nader would never had run, Gore would have taken Florida easily.

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

    Yeah, except when the votes got to the break even point, the USSC put a stop to the counting and called the election for the loser. The facts became crystal clear in the weeks that followed as an"unofficial" count continued and showed that Al Gore CLEARLY got more votes. HOWEVER, the USSC and the Federal Election Commission refused to make it right because it would be "damaging" the usurper. Of course it would have been – it would have meant he had no business squatting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

    March 26, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    I'm trying my friend. I gotta work on focusing on the end result not the process.
    This one is going ot be a tough one in November, no doubt about it.
    It will, however, more than likely be my last political hurrah....unless Hillary lights my fire....
    @ Wake Up People! et al
    Thank you babe.
    Can you enlighten me as to the addition to your moniker and it's significance/

    March 26, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Tony

    According to a CBS News Poll and a GWU/Battleground Poll, Democrats and Republicans are now tied on the 2014 generic congressional ballot. Rasmussen Poll gives Democrats a 4-point lead. FOX News Poll gives Democrats a 2-point lead. If Republicans are tied with or losing to Democrats even though Republicans have an edge in enthusiasm, they are in big, big trouble.

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

    If rasmussen and faux newz are giving the Dems a 4 & 2 point lead, that's a pretty good indicator that the Dems are actually up by about 20 points.

    March 26, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Ron L

    All I can say is this....INDEPENDENTS and DEMOCRATS need to get out and vote this mid-term. The Republicans have been keeping things stagnant in Washington for the last 5 years just to keep the economy crawling in hopes of winning the Presidency in 2016. They complain about everything, they offer few suggestions to improve anything, or if they offer suggestions they seem to always "favor" those who need "the least help". It is a shame they won't support a minimum wage increase to $10.00. It is more of a shame in how many of them are creating laws that make it harder for people to vote. I am not just talking about the photo ID, I am talking about the districts with a majority of minority American having polling places reduced so that even if they do come out to vote they will have to wait 2 to 4 hours to place the vote. I am personally FED UP...aren't the rest of you???

    March 26, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  24. i'malib

    I'm voting for whoever gives me free stuff.

    March 26, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    People who don't vote should look in the mirror when placing blame for the political gridlock in Washington.

    March 26, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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