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. Chris

    Dont seem to recall any dems wanting any of Bush's programs. I think its hilarious that one guy on the radio can minupulate the left . When the trillion dollar transfer of funds from the private sector to the most wasteful spending machine the world has ever known, the US govt
    fails miserably it will take a true conservative to lead us out of the wilderness Unfortuantely the GOP arent conservative any longer

    January 28, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. b franklin

    I think free speech is still a part of the Bill of Rights is it not?
    These are the same schmucks that ignored the likes of Bill Mahr when he said the Cheyney should be shot.
    It seems like they should have a lot more to worry about.

    January 28, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Fists of fury

    The Marxist/Socialist agenda of the democrats and this president are quite eveident. Republicans need to stand strong and be conservatives again. Resist Socialim. Resist this president's desire to destroy the country. Concervatism is not dead, it's not what Bush was about and it was not what the last 8 years were about. It's time for republicans to stand for the Regan styled principles of conservative individualism and self reliance. Socialism is not the awswer nor is marxism which is what this president and all democrats are peddling.
    NO THANKS BARRY!

    January 28, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Democrat Against Reid

    The Dems have the lead right now, but in less than a year this will swing the other way. The top biggest reasons why the GOP will make great strides in the mid term elections are, in order:

    1. Nancy Pelosi
    2. Harry Reid
    3. Afghanistan
    4. Pork Barrel spending
    5. The Geitner appointment
    6. Gitmo
    7. Joe Biden's mouth
    8. Split between Hillary and Barack
    9. Iraq setbacks and extension of troop presence
    10. Too many misteps by the inexperienced Commander

    January 28, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. CONNIE

    OF COURSE THEIR IN LINE WITH THE CNN POLL. THIS IS THE CNN ONLINE WEBSITE IS IT NOT. I DON'T CARE ABOUT POLLS BECAUSE AFTER THE DEMOCRATS JUST SPEND THE MONEY FOR STUPID STUFF AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL WAKE UP AND SAY NO MORE. THE CONGRESS AND SENATE REP OR DEM BETTER WATCH OUT WE ARE TIRED OF YOUR CRAP IT STATES "WE THE PEOPLE" NOT WE THE CONGRESS THE SENATE. WE ARE DONE WITH THE STUPID SPENDING AND THE STUPID COMMON SENSE THAT YOU PEOPLE HAVE.

    January 28, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. RJN

    Don't worry Rep the Dem with mess up they always do!!!!
    It's only the second week in office, by Spring they should be headed towards the down slope.

    January 28, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Jon in CA

    Good Grief!

    We've had 2 opinion polls about Obama and a 2010 election poll – and Obama hasn't been in office 10 days.

    But hey, us conservatives understand the DNC doesn't want to let the media out of their pocket just yet. Why rock the boat when journalists are the ones doing all the paddling for your political party?

    We wouldn't want them to begin reporting OBJECTIVELY. Heavens no!

    January 28, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Meka

    CONGRESS TERM LIMITS . . . 12 YEARS, NO RETIREMENT!

    January 28, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Jamie, IL

    And they will continue to have a lead as long as greedy Republicans lie and cheat the American people. I hope they continue well into 2012 so that they will lose AGAIN, big time.

    Thank you so much Rush Limbreath, keep talking for the Republican party, and Sarah, please come out again we love you. Just keep lying and cheating the American people so we will be in power forever.

    January 28, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Simmy

    James Johnson,
    You're a glutton for punishment, huh? My condolences.

    January 28, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  11. Bill

    Not in Illinois.

    January 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Whiney Do Nothing Crybabies

    Republicans are liars and they have always lied. They are the greediest people on the planet. They are obstructionist and should not be listened to–shut them up with your votes in 2012.

    Send them back home with their tails between their legs. Do not listen to them. They are not sincere in working with the president.

    If they were so serious, why weren't they serious for the last 8 years.

    President Obama is right and they are wrong. They are not believable and the president is a good man. Kick these people to the curbs–they are charlotans.

    January 28, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Ed Smith

    As long as people are willing to listen to the ignorant ,audacious ,egregious,loud mouthed,pill popping traitors such as Rush Limpballs,this country will remain polarized!!I would like to encourage free thinking patriotic AMERICANS to boycott the products,and services of this drug addicted addle brained nitwit!!

    January 28, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Whaaaaaaaaa

    The Bush coattails are very long. He will drag every last Repug out of Congress yet.

    Obama is right, and they are wrong. They will get their just desserts in 2010, we will get rid of all of them.

    Obama is the president, deal with it.

    January 28, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. Peter (CA)

    @ Let Freedom ring.....Libralism? Don't trust people born between Sept. 23rd and Oct. 23rd?

    So simplistic, isn't it? Liberals are communists. Maybe if you have a bit of a clue as to what any of those words meant, you may be able to put together a thoughtful argument.
    Maybe I should say convervatism=ignorance? Just as fair, isn't it?

    January 28, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Craig

    Give it time. Without the Republicans there to point fingers at as the majority, the Democrats no longer have a group to blame for personal agendas that lead them to poor judgment.

    Give it time...

    January 28, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse NY

    You liberals need to chill out. Limbaugh says what he says to generate controversy which in turn generates ratings. He's not a politician, he's an entertainer. Get it? He's hoping for a reaction and you guys are giving it to him. He's laughing all the way to the bank. As much as you'd like to label him the voice of the Republican Party, he's not. If fact, you pay more attention to him than Republicans do. He's just like Howard Stern. Say the most controversial things and people tune in. Yes some believe what he says; but then again how many believe Al Sharpton?

    January 28, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Luke Brown

    Republicans need to stop trying to derail Obama before he even gets started. The country blames them and their President for the mess Obama is trying to fix.

    Two of their Congressional leaders - Boehner and Cantor - told their membership yesterday that they should oppose the President's stimulus package just before Obama came to the Hill to offer them an olive branch.

    Memo to GOP from America: Get out of the way ... or we will get you out of the way. What a bunch of losers.

    January 28, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. Ed Smith

    Just say NO to the pill popping screwball!!

    January 28, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. Frank Sykes

    Matt you obviously don't get it. The republican Congress and Republican President lowered taxes for the last 8 years and how many jobs did that create?? More importantly how many did it lose?? We have unemployment at a 30 year high obviously lowering taxes is not stimulating the economy and creating jobs.

    January 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. geral

    c'mon people. u complain of obama's plan but wut you fail to realize is that wall street has been stealing trillions of dollars from the american ppl for god knows how long. and now ur compalining of spending more money. Here's an idea, everyon who has goten ripped off by wall street.. go home...grab a machete and find the person who screwed. then hack his head off. U may not get you money back i guarantee that it will make you feel a hell of alot better.

    January 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. eidde

    The man is a fool and a traitor. He's kind of ugly too.

    January 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. You Got Change...Now What?

    Let's see what happens in another year when people realize that the Democrats can't do anything but make things worse and turn this into the USSA.

    January 28, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. Barbara NY

    Of course the Democrats have the lead, the Repbulicans haven't entered the 21st century yet. My advice to the Republicans is to keep on trying to block anything to do with helping our economy. That way there will be fewer of you in Congress and we won't have to hear anymore of your empty rhetoric.

    January 28, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Luke Brown

    Boneher and Cantor = The Bland leading the Bland

    January 28, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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