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. Darko

    What a great poll...it show's how stupid some of our voters are. "I'm going to vote for the generic democrat." THIS is how idiots like Al Franken get into office and stay there.

    January 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Mike Dallas

    Yeah! Grab those bibles closer and keep the repub party buried deep in the neo-con redneck territory. That's surely the ticket for growth!

    Getting "back to basics" is what will win more Congressional seats in 2010, and please disregard all of these silly biased polls put out by the liberal media as it is just a conspiracy against family values!

    Go Coulter/Palin 2012.


    January 28, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. carlo

    Lynn in NM:

    We don't need the media to tell us about Republicans. My wallet, my investments, and everything else that is wrong with this country tells me and everyone else enough. Are you wearing blinders? Unless you're dating a Wall Street banker, its been really rough. Perhaps you can pretend that it isn't that bad, but the rest of us won't delude ourselves.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Forget about Rush, when he said he wished Obama failure, he sounded like Osama bin Laden. Don't trust Rush, he will sell our country out for another $7 million in his pocket.

    January 28, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Jo

    Abe Lincoln must be spinning in his grave at the hate and malice the modern day republicans are showing. He literally saved this country from dividing and now with the likes of Rush, Hanninty, and the so called republican leadership, the country is dividing again. Why can't everyone think of what is best for the American people at this time and forget petty differences. I hope and pray that those who are so against this president will have the courage to say I am sorry when things get better if not for them, their friends and neighbors.

    January 28, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  6. Mike


    January 28, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. sandee in Portland

    @Dawn...well said! If our politicians were focused on what they were hired to do instead of worrying about whether they're going to be re-elected, our country would be in better shape. This goes for both democrats and republicans and is a good reason why there should be term limits for both congressmen and senators just like the rest of the political offices.

    January 28, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Steve (the real one)

    Another worthless poll! That's what.. 2 or 3 this week? Few (dems or repubs) care about the 2010 election cycle right now. Don't we have an economic crisis TODAY? I want the House, Senate and President to get us moving again (smartly)! The 2010 will take care of it's self and hopefully, thisi time we will vote on merit and work rather than party and personality (wishful thinking).

    January 28, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. J.P.

    Historically, the party in the White House ALWAYS loses congessional seats in the midterm, regardless of the party.

    There are only a small handful of exceptions to this historical trend.

    The 2002 mid-terms come to mind, but that election was a mere 14 months after 9-11. The party in the White House would have bucked the trend that election cycle, regardless of whether it was Bush or Gore in the White House on 9-11.

    January 28, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  10. JC

    That Dem :lead" will evaporate as Obama screws up the economy with rampant INFLATION.

    January 28, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Tampa is Rockin this week

    This story comes early, but gives a hint to the Repubs to prepare for potential losses. This country is sick to death of the republican credo of hate, greed, and selfishness.
    I used to be a Rebublican until completely sickened by the Bush's, Rove, Mccain, Palin... the list goes on and on and on...

    January 28, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. demwit

    I wonder why CNN didn't ask which party we would vote for if the economy hasn't recovered by then??

    January 28, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. RealityKing

    Getting a head start on the next election cycle CNN?? State run media at its worse...

    January 28, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. boered1

    a stupid poll given the fact the new President/Congress have not had time to get blamed/credit for anything yet.. basically it is repeating the last election


    January 28, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Butch Dillon

    The polling results are hardly a surprise. The republicans in office are mainly comprised of politicians whose IQ is roughly the equivalent of rotten fruit. People want leadership and they're being stuck with ineffective followers of Rush Limbaugh and the other right wing talking head trash. The phase out of republicans will continue in 2010.

    January 28, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Britt VA

    If the Republicans keep lining up with Rush Limbaugh they are going to isolate Middle America, if this stimulus package succeeds they are really going to be in big trouble. I'm an Independent, and it does not seem like the Republicans are going to change and I'm seriously considering becoming a Democrat.

    January 28, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Romney2012

    yeah, what America needs is more "quality," people like OBama, Pelosi and Reid....we need them like we need another recession.
    The democrats had their chance, and what did they do? They INTENTIONALLY sank the entire economy of the country which also transcended to other regions of the world....in short, the DEMOCRATS PUT US IN FINANCIAL RUIN...merely to get their puppet candidate in office.....VOTE THEM OUT. It's a shame that we had enough corruption present to elect a dem president....but he'll go when his term is up to. Conservatives, we learned our lesson by staying home and not voting....the ill will of the democratic party coupled with the corruption spawned through Chicago to the White house...will cause havoc, but we must persevere, and start ousting them back to their sewers.

    January 28, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. patti

    They need to focus on Arizona–I think the tide is turning

    January 28, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. Matt

    Even when news like this arrives, the GOP just ramps up the rhetoric and keeps doing all the things that got it such a thorough beatdown on November 4, 2008. Go figure. If they continue, come 2010, it's going to be a whole new round of "we told you so" and they'll just put their fingers in their ears and scream lalalalalalalalalalala like a bunch of babies all over again.

    January 28, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. tee

    I agree with Marcia Marcia Marcia

    January 28, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  21. Glennis

    Do you just suppose that you could give a campaign weary populace a rest from this just for a little while???? We're sick and tired of hearing about campaigns. What we want to hear is what those people we elected the last time around are actually doing that's beneficial to their contituents!

    January 28, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. tee

    Bravo Anonymous
    You finnally said something that makes sense.

    January 28, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Publius

    Please good people. Let us have reason and civil dialogue instead of this name calling and the expression of personal whim and opinion. The vitriole that occupies so large a space in so many of your diatribes is beneath you both as Americans and as persons. The lack of nuance conveyed in so many of these caricatures; the taking of hyperbole for the sober truth of the matter; these are beneath you as citizens. Are these on-line exchanges anything more than the internet, faceless version of a barroom brawl? It would seem not. I am saddened by the extraordinary amount of demonization–of predications beyond all reason. We can do better than this trite discussion. We can have a meaningful exchange. But to do that, we must not carry on like this. Perchance we could, as Madison once exhorted, harken the mild voice of reason gently pleading its case–perhaps we could find a way to hear that even in the tumult of the moment and even amid the loud clash of these name-calling exchanges.

    January 28, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. fearful for my country

    You know, I've always been a democrat but I am seriously doubting that letting democrats have so much power is a good thing. I'm leaning farther and farther right since this last primary and the shanagins that have taken place with my party. I'm hoping some housecleaning takes place and our government becomes more bipartisan so that we can keep a happy medium. I'm really just thankful that I will never live long enough to have to see how in the world Obama's spending spree will be repaid. I'm also very thankful that I never had kids who will have to take on this debt. What are y'all going to do when China comes to "repossess' their collateral?

    January 28, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  25. KenM

    @ NO TAXES AND WE'LL VOTE FOR YOU!: Even IF what you said were true, and it is most certainly not true...but we'll take it as truth for this exercise.....it is very amusing for me to point out to the likes of you that Obama is STILL much more successful that Bush. You neo-tards set the bar so very low by electing Bush, and then supporting him throughout all his abject failures, that if Obama stood on his head and wet himself it would be a significant step up. But you keep whining, we are used to hearing the mindless twitter from you vacuous wingnuts......you did it all through the '90s when America went through one of its most peaceful and economically successful periods in its history, led by a successful [D] president. Oops, looks like history is about to repeat itself!

    January 28, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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