January 28th, 2009
12:49 PM ET
8 years ago

Dems have early lead in 2010 congressional race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/28/art.getty.capitol.rotunda.jpg caption="The Democrats currently hold a 255 to 178 advantage in the House, with two seats the Democrats won in November now vacant."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The 111th Congress is just a few weeks old, but both parties are already planning their fight for the 112th — and a new national poll suggests Democrats may have the upper hand.

Forty-six percent of those questioned in a Diageo/Hotline survey released Wednesday say they would support the generic Democrat in the 2010 elections for the House of Representatives, with 22 percent backing the generic Republican candidate. That's a 24 point lead for Democratic congressional candidates in the so called "generic ballot" question, which asks voters their preference for the U.S. House without naming the candidates running in each district.

These results are in line with a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted two weeks ago that found that 56 percent of those questioned think the country would be better off if Congress was controlled by Democrats. That 25 points higher than the 31 percent who said the nation would be better off if Republicans controlled Congress.

"The GOP hasn't met with much success in the last two election cycles, so it's not surprising that the Democrats start off the new Congress with an advantage," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Historically, however, the president's party loses seats in the House in the midterm election, so the question for the Democrats is whether they can buck that trend and hold onto the edge they currently have."

Forty-nine percent of those questioned in the Diageo/Hotline survey approve of how the Democrats in Congress are performing, with 38 percent disapproving. As for the GOP minority: Disapproval jumps to 62 percent, with 26 percent approving of how congressional Republicans are handling their jobs.

The Democrats currently hold a 255 to 178 advantage in the House, with two seats the Democrats won in November now vacant. The party also holds a 58 to 41 advantage in the Senate, with the Minnesota race still unresolved.

The Diageo/Hotline poll was conducted January 21-24, with 800 people questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    Republicans, the writing is on the wall. Get with the program or else you may find yourself without a job and then maybe you will know how the rest of us feel!

    January 28, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Matt


    It's a wonder they've lasted this long, trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    January 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Scott the Independent

    And with the petition against Rush Limbaugh the lead will hold. Its time to remove the old, very old republican guard that have laid waste to our economy in 20 of the last 28 years – Ronald Regan coined the trickle down theory that recked us; George Bush 41 had a one term presidency that ended in recession and George Bush 43 with two terms have brought us to near depression. They have ruined us in less than 3 decades. ENOUGH

    January 28, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Ric in NY

    Two things..

    One – its way to early to gauge whats gonna happen in 2010. So, this really isnt news worthy at this time

    Two – This is a liberal poll done by liberals for liberals. Its well known CNN leans left and thats OK, but i get the feeling that there will be no super Dem majority after the 2010 elections. I just dont think it will go that way with the economy going farther downhill and a " stimulus " plan that may very well not create any jobs and create more chaos. Handouts dont fix a broken economy.

    January 28, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. SquallCloud

    The democrats have the worst instincts. What is actually wrong with them. I can say that President Obama and his team have fairly keen instincts but then something like this happens and I'm reminded "Oh yeah... democrats. *sigh*" First of all he is the "press". It is not proper for a political body to target him. Above all else, this is a quadruple win for Rush and an octuple lose for democrats. You just bring attention to his racist, regressive, insane rhetoric. The proper thing to do when you have a troll on an internet message board is to ignore them. The same goes in life. Don't feed the trolls. *facepalm*

    Democrats, do better!

    January 28, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Monika

    Rush Limbaugh you dissappoint me and many Americans with your continuous comments of plain ignorance. In this tough economy crisis, as well as other issues surrounding this nation we must unite and stand strong as one nation.

    January 28, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. cnnnewser

    Rush Limbaugh gets paid 800 million dollars to spew hate and fear.
    Only true idiots listen to him.

    January 28, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Maggie in NY

    Wow, what a shock...the republicans are going to lose even more seats in the house.

    January 28, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. TERRY

    don't count on it....listen and praise rush limbaugh!!!!!

    January 28, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. William

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I will not vote for a Republican again until they purge the party of the ultra-right nutjobs and move back to the center. Right now, a vote for a Republican is a vote against the future of America.

    January 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Republicans are true blue Americans. They would defend their country wether they are on the upper or down side. Democrats suffer from uncessary anxiety always that clouds their judgment.

    January 28, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. Patty in the CA mountains


    January 28, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Lynn in NM

    I see the media has already made their picks and will not publish anything negative about their picks, as they did with Obama. Good job! Keep making that news, instead of reporting it.

    January 28, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    If the American people had any sense, they would clean out the House, Congress, etc. – We need to start over. People of America, for the people of America – not one party against the other. We need Americans. We need people in these seats that are common, ordinary people with intelligence, COMMON SENSE, and people that love the USA.

    January 28, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  15. geecee

    Uh-oh. Rush, O'Reilly, Hannity and the rest of you delusional liars. Get out your talking points. You can't let this happen!! Stop it. Just like you stopped Obama and Pelosi and Reid and everyone else you tried to smear with your hateful, fringe-element rhetoric to scare people into not voting for them. And you see how successful that effort was, didn't you? Quick, launch "Operation Chaos" just one more time, Rush. Hurry, times awastin'.

    January 28, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. Tom in S.A.

    Please don't start 2010 crap already........

    January 28, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. NY republican

    Anyone that would vote for a "generic" candidate from either party is more foolish than the people who posed the question. People that bought a "pig in a poke" used to be thought of as gullible, are they now thought to be good Democrats?

    January 28, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. James Johnson

    I'll be voting straight Republican/Independent come 2010. Not impressed with Obama/Pelosi/Reid/etc. at all.

    January 28, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. chris s.

    I thought so. Republicans wont rebound until Americans forget about the damage that they cuased for this country.

    January 28, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I hope those numbers hold, but a lot will depend on how the Democrats in this congress handle themselves.......and what shape our economy is in as we approach the next election cycle. If the economy rebounds, in spite of the Republicans trying to sabatage the Democratic plan, then the Republicans will go down in flames once again. If the economy is still in the tank, they can run around saying "I told you so" and may do a little better.

    January 28, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. gerryluimes

    Prof.Limbaugh will make sure that neither Dems,nor Reps. are left in the next congress.Only ONE White supremacist by the name of Dr.Rush Limbaugh......................

    January 28, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. LIP

    Saying it doesn't make it so...polls are polls and have never been a true barometer for what is really going on. Besides, they probably only polled Democrats.

    January 28, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Jim


    You are an idiot. You praise a drug taking, self important, irrelavant person who is so out of touch with the average american. One question – the policies Rush suporrts who do they favor??? People like him who sign contracts for $400 million over 8 years, not the average american.

    I agree freedom of speech Rush can say whatever he wants, but a vast majority of americans are tuning him out – the ultimate weapon – choice. Then again this is how the Republicans lost so much in the last election, perphaps people like you and Rush should listen to what the american people want, otherwise the Republicans will loose more in 2010. Change will come again!!! Get ready Terry!!!

    January 28, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Judy from PA

    To be fair, if the Democrats are going to boycott Rush Limbaugh, then the Republicans need to boycott Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow.

    January 28, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. Soccer Nana

    "TERRY January 28th, 2009 2:28 pm ET

    don't count on it….listen and praise rush limbaugh!!!!!"

    Enoying your kool aid I see! LOL

    Below is your new address:

    Limbaughtown, USA

    January 28, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7