January 28th, 2009
12:49 PM ET
9 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. David

    These people should actually do a little work first.

    January 28, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Get it together Repubs

    Keep talking Rush, Hannity, and Coulters..... Your only doing us Dems a great favor.

    January 28, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. LIP

    NAFTA had it's beginnings way back in 1993 when Bill Clinton signed it into effect, along with the presidents of Mexico and Canada. Of course, Mexico was the prime beneficiary with most all of our jobs heading south, so lets not blame Bush for that bit of monkey business.

    January 28, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Bill

    Arizona will make up for Illinois.

    January 28, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. SAB

    If the Republicans have not seen the negative impact of divisive politics then they are in bad shape. The idea of my way or no way will not work. Both parties should find common ground on issues and work out the differences for the good of the country. I know that sounds too much like what they are suppose do but that is the only way that this country can move forward. The President is trying to show that his willing to work with the Republicans but have not caught on.

    January 28, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |


    January 28, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. marlene

    If House Republicans continue their "Just say no" policy of the first few days in this Congress, I'd venture to say they will continue to dig the hole they are in deeper.

    January 28, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. listen

    there's too many RACIST in the republican party, get rid of limbaugh, palin, try listening to the majority of American voters for a change.

    January 28, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. Brandon from Albuquerque

    Perhaps one of the things that drove the Repubs down the ditch is the hypocrisy of claiming to be a small government, non-interference party, despite the fact that they want government bans on abortion, government control of civil unions & same-sex marriage, & interference in international conflicts abroad. God willing that this is the beginning of a separation of the party, the right-wing Conservative zealots on one hand, & and Conservative Libertarians on the the other. Perhaps we will see a rise in Libertarianism in the next years, as disheartened Republicans just may flock to this party.

    January 28, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Mari

    Are we surprised???




    January 28, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Most of the Obama's voters did not even know the democrats ran congress the last 2 years of the Bush administration. Maybe they will finally learn alitte history and then make decisions on who to vote for: Dems=Welfare State: Repubs= Self Responsibility.

    January 28, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. absolutely, Democrats do better

    and do it by work, research and serving you country

    no buddy buddy deals a la Cheney, no name calling 'un patriotic' a la Bush, no violating internation war rules a la gonzalos... the list goes on

    January 28, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. DAVE IN CA

    how does a democratic house and congress since 06' have a worse approval rating than BUSH? but yet it is forecasted that they will stay in office in 2010?

    January 28, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Bill

    The republican policy has been hatred. They purport to fight fundamentalists when they are the fundamentalists. They claim they stand for fiscal responsibility and they blow up the deficit. They back small government and under their control, the government blew up with bureaucracy and special interests. Now in the midst of the greatest chaos this country has witnessed in a life time, their party has completely folded with a total lack of leadership and direction. Is the best they can muster Sarah Palin? The GOP is dead, you betcha.

    January 28, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    It is too early to tell what 2010 will be like, but coming events usually cast their shadows.

    January 28, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. barack Obama is still just B.O.

    Based on the way the dimocrats are starting, this will change regardless of the sheep followers.

    January 28, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Charles

    Apparently any comments critical of Obama and the Democrats are not fit to print. If I say Obama is great (fingers crossed), will you print this?

    January 28, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. barack Obama is still just B.O.

    @ Anonymous

    Great idea! I hope we can make it happen. Where do we start?

    (although I believe ousting Pelosi would make for a great beginning)

    January 28, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  19. Lucas

    I will call it now. Republicans will take back the congress in 2010. What have the democrats done since being in control? Aside from daily gossip, attacks on Bush and terrible policies they have done absolutely nothing. Lately Americans have bought into the crap, but we usually wise up later on. Americans will wise up and get the likes of Pelosi, Reid and Frank out of office.

    January 28, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  20. KC

    Personally, I'm tired of all this. No wonder people are eating bullets at every turn. Enough CNN....your guy won. We get it.

    January 28, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  21. Al from Delaware

    "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."


    "Politicians and diapers need to be changed regularly - and for the same reason"

    January 28, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. Exygoingj

    I am amazed at how many of the right wing comments are either misspelled or simply grammatically incorrect. The problem with you people is that you hide behind your religion and guns when you need to be hiding behind your books! ( :
    Republicans in general hide behind fear and hatred. Screw 'em.

    January 28, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Hannah Stevens

    We have a new governor in Arizona replacing Janet Napolitano and she is a Republican, her name, Jan Brewer. Now she is blaming the huge deficit in state funds on Janet when in reality it was caused by the last eight years of bush economics and the first thing she wants to do is cut education funds in our state by 40% and we are behind the rest of country already in educational spending. This is the republican way, tax breaks for corporations, no money for education. Oh and by the way we recently built a huge new football stadium, tax funded of course, but our schools can crumble and it doesn't matter.

    January 28, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Dan

    Hey Matt!

    Obama is a big spender? You should look up the Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. deficit spending. It makes Obama's plan look very small.

    How soon we forget. What ever happened to Conservative principles which influenced me from 1976-96. The party sold out to the bigoted social conservative movement. The Republican party of which I once believed and supported, is dead. R.I.P.

    P.S. I hope Rush fails!! He should go the way of Imus.

    January 28, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  25. No Incumbents 2010

    Don't count your chickens before they hatch. This is Pre- Stimulus or should I say Pre-Spending.

    January 28, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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