Poll: Voters split over control House and Senate
July 8th, 2014
08:37 AM ET
2 months ago

Poll: Voters split over control House and Senate

Washington (CNN) - American voters are divided on whether they want the GOP to win control of the Senate in November's elections, according to a new national poll.

And a Quinnipiac University survey also indicates the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination remains a free-for-all among the potential contenders, while Hillary Clinton, if she runs for the White House again, would be the prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

The poll's Tuesday release comes with the midterm elections just under four months away. It indicates that 46% of registered voters want the Republicans to win control of the Senate, with 44% saying they want the Democrats to retain control of the chamber. By the same slight 46%-44% margin, voters want to see the GOP keep control of the House of Representatives.

In the generic ballot question, the Democrats have a narrow two percentage point (41%-39%) edge over the Republicans among registered voters. The generic ballot asks respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). But in the midterms, the party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states. In the House, the Democrats need to pick up a challenging 17 Republican-held seats to win back the majority from the GOP.

The poll indicates that voters are giving both parties in Congress a big thumbs down. Seventy-three percent say they disapprove of the job congressional Republicans are doing, with 63% saying they disapprove of the job Democrats on Capitol Hill are doing. Both parties favorable ratings are also underwater.

Complete Coverage: 2014 Midterm Elections

"Americans are split on whether they want Republican or Democratic wins in the midterms, but on one thing they are in complete agreement – Congress as a whole is doing a lousy job," says Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.

Race for 2016

Clinton has been the overwhelming frontrunner for the nomination in just about every national and state poll conducted over the past 18 months, and the new Quinnipiac survey is no exception.

According to the poll, 58% of Democrats and Democratic leaning voters say if the their party's presidential primaries were held today, say they'd support the former secretary of state. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who says she's not running in 2016, is a distant second at 11%, with Vice President Joe Biden, who's mulling a third White House bid, at 9% and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 4%.

The GOP race remains a wide open affair, as previous polling has indicated. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky's at 11% among Republicans and Republican leaners, with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a 2008 GOP presidential candidate, each at 10%. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, are each at 8%. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is at 6%. No other potential candidate listed cracked 3%.

"Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes a ton of heat on wealth, book sales and her legacy at the State Department, but she emerges with no serious Democratic challenger, while the Republican field remains clustered and flustered," Malloy adds.

In potential 2016 general election showdowns, the survey indicates Clinton topping several possible GOP candidates by seven to nine points. The poll also suggests a wide gender gap, with Clinton's lead among women ranging from 16 to 19 points and the margin among male voters is basically knotted.

The poll indicates Clinton with a 48%-43% favorable/unfavorable rating, which tops all other potential Democratic or Republican White House contenders.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted June 24-30, with 1,446 voters nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2014 • 2016 • Congress • Hillary Clinton • House • Senate
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Don't give visas just like pan cakes, stupidest.

    July 8, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  2. truindep

    Hilary Clinton is almost 70 years old, 2 terms 80 years old, that scenario isnt logical nor practical, the dems dumped her for the Obama , that is when she could have had her time in the WH ,, let her live the rest of her life in peace

    July 8, 2014 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. MaryM

    The Majority of Americans have seen the damage the Gop/TPers have done to America and I can guarantee you they don't want TPers anywhere near government. GOP , please get rid of the TPers and get back to governing by compromising like you use to . Thank you.

    July 8, 2014 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Another useless poll. Enquirer at best.

    July 8, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. emskadittle

    because they have accomplished so little in the house, why would we want a daily veto of Obamacare repeal

    July 8, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. JB

    1000 illegals coming into one small section of Texas per hour , 24,000 per day, 720,000 per month. Border control only catches 300,000 every 8 weeks. This does not even count the amount of the other 1800 miles of south border . Many of the women already pregnant. 1.3 Trillion dollars a year spent in California to give free cash benefits to illegals.

    July 8, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Diane

    I would like to see a senate and house full of independents who are for Americans and put America first.

    July 8, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. rs

    Ah, yes, the Right can proudly point to their perceived damage to the President's approval rating, but ooops! they had better pay attention to what their government shutdown, obstruction, and zero accomplishments for 6 years has done to their own approval rating. Too funny!
    When you absolutely, positively want a nation undermined, call the GOP!

    July 8, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. JB

    The only solution to this is to put the illegals in a Prison work camp to build a 1800 mile High Voltage electric fence. When they have earned the $5,000 fee it costs tax payers to deport them plus the $252 per day it costs to care for them, after the fence is built they get thrown over regardless of what country they come from. Our government then needs to bill their countries for every penny they cost the American tax payer. All women MUST use birth control so that they do not produce more " Anchor babies". If they come already pregnant take them back to Mexico to give birth there. There is no proof what country they come from because they lie with cheat sheets. They use the children as human smuggling pawns. Volunteers, the armed forces need to then guard the border and use non lethal weapons to keep them out like rubber bullets, pepper spray etc until the electric fence is built. There is no other solution. Nothing else has worked or will work. Our nation is on the verge of an economic collapse. No processing, no attorneys, all illegals must be immediately taken back over the border and left there including children. We cannot feed, house, clothe, legally represent millions of illegals flooding into the USA who come here because they are lured in by the Celebrities lifestyles they view on their TV sets. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, the honest ones who refuse to lie to welfare do not qualify for free hand outs.

    July 8, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky's at 11%
    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 10%
    former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10%
    former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 10%.
    Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 8%
    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 8%
    Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin at 8%
    Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is at 6%.
    ------------------
    Paul would never win a general election because he holds too many views that are in the extreme
    Christie is viewed as a RINO, who would never win the nomination anymore than Rudy Guiliani could.
    Bush. Bush, what more do I need to say? He's also viewed as a RINO by too many folks, too.
    Huckabee holds many extreme views, and folks don't want an unorthodox Christian pastor in the White House.
    Cruz would never win a general election, either, because he holds to many extreme views.
    Walker cannot win re-election as Governor of Wisconsin, so he'll never win a general election.
    Ryan is a budget wonk/quack who has admitted to "not running the numbers" on his own budgets.
    Rubio is a complete joke of a candidate for POTUS, which is why he trails this list.

    July 8, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |