April 13th, 2010
02:39 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Democrats make gains in battle for House

Washington (CNN) - A new national poll suggests the Democrats have improved their position in this year's battle for Congress, but they still have quite a way to go before their majority status in the House of Representatives could be considered safe at the ballot box.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that if elections for Congress were held today, 50 percent of the public would back the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, with 46 percent supporting the Republican candidate. That's a switch from CNN's last poll, conducted in late March, when the GOP had a 4-point advantage. The margins are within the poll's sampling error.

The generic ballot question asks respondents if they would vote for a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district, without naming any specific candidates. The Democrats currently hold a 253-177 advantage in the House, with four seats that the Democrats once held vacant and one seat that the GOP held vacant. Republicans need to win 40 seats to take back control of the chamber.

The poll indicates the Democrats received a bump among women and people earning less than $50,000 a year.

"Some core Democratic groups - chiefly women and lower-income Americans - may be coming back, and since those groups are the ones most affected by health care, it's possible that is a delayed reaction to new law," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But that seems to have helped them only in safe Democratic districts. Most of the Democrats' gains since March have come in districts which a Democrat won with at least 55 percent of the vote in 2008. They still face a double-digit disadvantage in swing districts - another indication that gains in the generic ballot today may not result in more seats won in November."

Historically, an advantage in the generic ballot does not automatically indicate who will win control of the House: "In 1994, the Democrats had a three-point edge in the November generic ballot, but that translated into a 52-seat loss," Holland notes.

According to the survey, 43 percent of independents say they'll support the GOP candidate, with 38 percent backing the Democrats, with a high number saying they're undecided or will vote for a candidate other than the Democrat or Republican in their district.

Forty-nine percent of people questioned say they have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, with 46 percent saying they hold an unfavorable view. The public's divided on the GOP, with 47 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party and an equal amount saying they hold an unfavorable view.

It appears Americans are also divided on the Tea Party, with 38 percent saying they have a favorable view of the limited-government movement and 36 percent holding an unfavorable view. One in four say they are undecided. The survey's release comes two days before Tea Party activists hold rallies in the nation's capitol and across the country on April 15, tax day.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll was conducted April 9-11, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: Poll
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Tired and Broken Ant

    Did you poll likely voters?
    Or even registered voters?
    Or did you just poll any mouth-breathing idiot who answered the phone, in order to prop up your preposterous conclusion.

    Obfuscate and distract all you want. Democrats will lose by historic margins this November. There is no way around that fact.

    But by all means, continue to stick your heads in the sand, chanting "Hopenchange."

    April 13, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. JES

    I hope the Republicans can take back control before the spend and tax DEM's put us deeper in debt and expect the weathly to take care of everyone. I don't see them apying their fair share but will spend our money faster than we can print it.

    April 13, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. Willy Brown

    Dream on.

    April 13, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Charlie in Maine

    Dear GOP,

    I was so apalled by George W Bush running my country into a ditch that I really did not notice,or care, that he was running your party into a ditch as well. Can the GOP of 2010 actually be the same party that ended slavery and won the civil war?, that built the inter-state highway system? established the EPA? There was a time when the GOP was willing to do things for the American people. When they would work with Democrtats to get things done and help the country. Now that they worship on the alter of personal distruction they are so determined to not let Obama succeed that they are willing to sacrafice the good of the counrty to make it happen. It is a trait they started with McCarthyism, strengthened while trying to impeach Pres. Clinton. I thought it had reached it's worse with George W Bush's war on the constitution when, drunk with their own power and Karl Rove's "permenent majority" they bankrupted to country morally ethically and in the end financilaly. Now that the people have taken away the power they wasted the wheels have really come off. You have really lost your way and until you find it again I pray that you will continue losing elections.

    April 13, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. Voted4HealthCare

    I commend the Dems for their success with health care for Americans. It is a great step in the right direction as a foundation to build upon going forward.

    In contrast, there is much shame to put on the disingenuous GOP for their obstructive nonsense and outright lies displayed in opposing our health care, which almost mirrored the same bill Republicans sponsored in '93.

    As a result, many Americans know where the support/votes go this November–Go Dems!

    April 13, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. RCasson

    And it's only April. The GOP is all pumped up pounding their fists....but they just might have a rude awakening in Nov!

    April 13, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. The Unsub

    As long as Obama and the Admin. continues to succeed and the Reps. keep saying "no", the Dems will win for a long time.

    April 13, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    People are seeing our Democrats act with respect, intelligence and most of all working for them. The vast majority of Americans don't like the hate, threats and anger we're seeing today and they won't support it and I Thank God for them.

    April 13, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Rob Johnson

    That doesn't sound like the making of some historic landslide for the GOP to me. They may will some seats, but they would have to win 40 seats to win control of the House, and I don't see that happening.

    And winning control of the Senate is just a pipe dream. Not enough Democratic seats in play to even imagine a possible scenario where the Republicans end up with 51 Senate seats.

    Sorry GOP, you will have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to kick around for a little while longer, at least.....

    April 13, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Yvette

    Do you guys, expect any body to believe this poll!! Come on CNN – quit being so obvious with your bias!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 13, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Sue

    Sorry CNN........But that is NOT what other recent polls are saying.

    Other polls are saying.........The MAJORITY in the country-–including Independents-–will be voting for Republicans.

    But, again........we will talk AFTER the elections in November!!!!

    April 13, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    While you may think the Dems are safe, I assure you, they are not.

    April 13, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Hugo

    You only have your voice and your vote to make a peaceful difference...

    When can we all go back to work, I've grown weary of this stupidity?

    April 13, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Don

    I guess the rethuglicans are not going to win in Nov like they thought.

    April 13, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. MikeH

    Well duh.

    The Republicans are so corrupt and racist, and treasonous, and hateful, and pandering to domestic terrorists, and like to go to Lesbian Bondage nightclubs, and... well it's a long list of sordid and venal things the Republicans are.

    Republicans hate America.

    April 13, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. horse

    this makes me so scared and angry, i'm going to load up on tea bags and make a dress out of them and then throw a racist tantrum in front of the lincoln memorial until cnn puts me on the news.

    drill, baby drill! go, sarah go!


    April 13, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Victim of GOP Taliban

    My lousy Republican House member has gotta go. He is useless and thinks just saying "No" to everything is a solution. Good luck trying to take back majority of Congress on an agenda of doing nothing.

    April 13, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. geecee

    Come on Dems. We have GOT to get out and vote in the mid-terms. Stop the complacency, the apathy. This is important. We simply CANNOT allow the Repugnantcans to get control of the House and Senate. We have a terrible record when it comes to voting in the mid-terms. You don't realize how important it is that we get out there. The Repugnantcans are going to be out in droves, they are amassing huge amounts of money to defeat our Democratic candidates and they mean business. Our only way to hold them off is to get out and vote in the mid-terms. This is important for the future of our Country. Please just vote in November!!!

    April 13, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. Ryan

    It looks like the GOP November Revenge Boat has sprung yet another leak. Just wait until the majority of registered voters actually start paying attention come September/October and see that the GOP offers nothing but crying and whinning.

    April 13, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |

    The more the American people find out how much the republicans flat our lied to them the more the democrats will not only stay in power but will gain seats. You lie to the American people for long, we're much smarter than the GOP thinks we are. Its' only the Tea Baggers who will continue to believe their lies because they only listen to Fix No News. Not only will the democrats retain a huge margin in the House, they will also regain their super majority in the Senate. Then our country will be moving forward again.

    April 13, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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