[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/12/10/gop.congress/story.congress.gi.jpg caption="CNN poll: GOP has erased party popularity gap in Congress"]
Washington (CNN) - Eleven months before crucial midterm elections, a national poll indicates that the public is divided over whether the country would be better off with Democrats or Republicans controlling Congress.
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday, 40 percent of people questioned say the U.S. would be better off if Democrats ran Congress while 39 percent feel things would be better if Republicans took charge on Capitol Hill. The 1-point margin is a statistical tie.
Support for Democrats is down from a 10-point advantage in August and a 25-point margin in January.
"As the debate over health care continues, the Democrats may have lost the competitive advantage that they enjoyed earlier this year," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Since August, the number who support Democratic control of Congress has fallen farthest in the Northeast and the Pacific Rim - two regions that have been Democratic strongholds for many years."