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. gt

    hell we just finished a election .. give it a rest

    January 28, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Roy

    WE NEED A BETTER WAY to run for and elect politicians in this country....the 'fight' to get elected is so dirty and harsh, that there is no trust and/or honor between parties once someone DOES get elected.
    Remember, you get elected to WORK FOR THE PEOPLE......not yourself, not your party........WE elect you. CNN should also try and unite people with their considerable clout...not divide them to 'show a contrast'. CNN could be the leader in the media to unite people....if only CNN would see the opportunity.

    January 28, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Ed Smith

    Maybe Rush Limballs should be charged under the patriot act,and shipped off to GITMO!!

    January 28, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Scott Bourne

    This is crushing news to the right. Their only play now is to hope America fails. Their leaders like Lush Flimbaugh are HOPING it fails. They will obstruct themselves right into a bigger hole and even have LESS influence than they do now after the next election. And America will be better off for it! I can't wait until we have a super majority. Then we can just tell the right wing fools to sit down, and shut up. We'll call them if we need them!

    January 28, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |

    wow a democratic house and senate since 06' with a lower approval rating than the man you all love to hate (BUSH) ..... and yet somehow this poll shows America would like to keep the same people in power that undeniably brought down the housing market and banks at the same time in a two year period..... don't believe me check you tube, watch it and weap.... repubs blew the whistle and the dems in charge–FRANK, DODD, AND WATERS all chastised these republicans for bringing light to there deception of the American people

    January 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. Republicans = window lickers

    Well Matt, did you realize that the last three Retardlican Presidents have accumulated over 80% of our National debt? So who is really mortgaging our kids future? Obama who is trying to fix the last 30 years of failed trickle down economics or the Retardlicans who want to give people tax breaks they do not need? I think the time for change is here and President Obama is on the right track.

    January 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Ed Smith

    OBAMA WON OBAMA WON OBAMA WON!!!!! The democrats control congress.shut up already!

    January 28, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. jackie

    There is so much hate in this world. Have anyone stop to think that God in control and he is first and the last . Rush will have to answer to god for his hate and the others that think he is so smart. Why didnt rush run for President . Since he is so smart and intelligent.

    January 28, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. shewhoseopinioncnnlovestocensor

    LetFreedom ring do you know anything about communism or are you just mouthing "RUSHtojudgment" jingoistic nonsense? Your conservative dogma has been a miserable failure. Time for change, big change, and for a long time.....

    January 28, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. DawnS

    This focus on 2010 is just garbage. This demonstrates just what is wrong with our politicas and elected officials who focus on the next election instead of doing the people's business.

    January 28, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. paul oregon


    January 28, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. KW, Vail AZ

    The problem that the republicans continue to have is that tax breaks/tax cuts is their solution for every problem. TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS doesn't work: it never has and it never will. Even if you cut corporate taxes to 0 % and lower the individual tax rate to 5 %, those companies that can't sell their products and services will not hire or rehire more employees and individuals will not invest in those companies. In a struggling economy such as this, consumption is the key to creating jobs. Profit is the only motivation for businesses to increase employment.

    January 28, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

    For good reason not to trust these rats anymore.

    Watching the House debates over the stimulus, the republicans talk about the future burdern on future children. I am just wondering who they were thinking about when voting on sending billions of dollars and jobs overseas during the Bush administrations.

    January 28, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Bud

    The Republicans should shut up and say something. If they have a better way, then they have a President that's actually willing to listen. Say Something concrete and what you propose. Instead it's negative this and negative that. To have an ignorant loudmouth like Rush Limpballs say he hopes Obama fails sums up the attitude of the Repubs and all their hopes for winning anything in 2010-2012. Maybe drugs will help the bulk of the Rush listeners like they obviously continue to help him?

    January 28, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Fred

    Give me a break. Two years of campaigning and polls for the last presidential election was enough to last me a life time. Doesn't this crap ever end.

    January 28, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. irishgirl74

    Dear RJN and LetFreedomRing-

    Criticize the Liberals all you want but at least the majority of us are college educated. Meaning we can spell and use proper grammar. Check your postings. BTW, we prefer the term progessive. As in looking forward toward progess. This is in direct opposition to you Republicans that want to bury your head in the sand and pray nothing every changes in Mayberry. Must be pretty in your world.

    January 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    I just want to ask Nancy P. to be a little more gracious and a little less cocky! She is going to ruin Pres. Obama's style with her need to gloat so much. I love you Nancy, but please be humble (or at least fake it), so that we can take more Republican seats in 2010 and 2012!

    January 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. liberals suck

    I can't believe people are stupid enough to back the same group that has done nothing for the last two years. Why don't we hear more about congress's approval rating?

    January 28, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Keith

    What do you want people? The Republican party has sworn allegiance to the far right and with that allegiance comes an ugly base that feeds off discord it holds principles of indifference, intolerance and malice

    I miss the old Republicans that actually stood for low taxes smaller government and personal responsibility. They never had a problem picking up the minority vote.
    That all changed as people like rush became the mouth piece of the party it became clear the party cared little for it's minority members and it's base is no friend of ours either

    No this is nothing to celebrate after all now the intolerant have a Republican party to validate themselves this is a loss to America...

    January 28, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Ralph

    Come on. I know there's a lot of money in the perpetual campaign cycle, but give it a rest, CNN. Polls now are irrelevant.

    January 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |

    Obama in office only 8 days and he's funding murder for babies abroad, put a death nail in the big 3 auto makers with unreasonable cafe standards during a financial crisis, appointed a tax cheat as Sec. of the Treasury, apologized to the Muslim world for them attacking us, I'd say the Republican party will be back strong after a couple years of poor policy decisions like this.

    January 28, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Oreol

    I want to see an end to the GOP. These people should be ashame of themselves.

    January 28, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Dace Tucson AZ

    Thank God Americans still have a brain if we forgot the absolute destruction the Greedy Ole Party has brought to the US and world we would be idiots. And they continue with their toxic ideology in the face of Obama trying to repair their destruction – yet the new leader of their party the super obese lying drug addict rush is leading the organization of their stance. Then fresh from the tanning bed boner follows suit. It is disgusting and most Americans want to vomit so let's kick the rest of these hateful ideologues out. Then they can all get $400 million contracts in the private sector like fat liar.

    January 28, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. pomgranat

    SquallCloud, you are absolutelly right ! Why pay attention to this idiot. Didn't they catch him with the suitcase of viagra? Didn't he brake the law stuffing himself with pain kilers? How you can even consider listening tis idiot – just do 'Sprigtime for Hitler' with him and ignore this pervert. Pettition – it is absud!

    January 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. karen-Phoenix

    Respect is what the Democratic party is made up of and a group of very well educated men and women who understand the new global technological world!!! THis republican voted for President Obama and will vote democratic in 2010 because the republican party just doesn't get it!!! And I'm 64 years and DO NOT want anyone any older than I am trying to care of me!!!

    January 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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