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. cnn = 100% democrat support all the time

    thanks for justifying my name with this stupid poll. dems know they are done in november and running for rocks to hide under.

    April 13, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Jilli

    Just saying NO to everything isn't solving any of our problems. I want to see results, so far the dems are delivering and the republicans are just getting more ridiculous by the day.

    April 13, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Michael

    Americans are becoming hardened to the endlessly repetetive threats of imminent doom coming from the GOP. We are watching the state of their union improve before our eyes. The increasing dominance in the GOP of the rabid lunatic fringe is beginning to put people off. The crazier they get, the more they undermine their own future.
    The fact is, once reality sets in and the fear of change dies down, not many Americans are stupid or ignorant enough to give the Palins and Bachmanns their time of day.

    April 13, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Most voters are turned off by the Tea Baggers and the party of hate/no. Dems are safe... God Bless America!

    April 13, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Stacie

    I will volunteer to get my congresswoman reelected. She took a tough vote to help my family avoid being dropped from our coverage because of a preexisting condition. I thank her from the bottom of my heart! I'm a hard working American who deserves not to be taken advantage of by the insurance company who gets a large percentage of my income every month!

    April 13, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Gary

    Americans aren't as stupid as the Republicans think they are. We can see thru their hate, lies and outright racism. The party of NO is a thing of the past. With ignorant leaders like Palin and Limbaug, the handwriting is on the wall. You only fooled some of the people some of the time.

    April 13, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. 8 Years of “trickle down economics” has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    The cons are relying too much on the "noise" they have generated to be the "truth".

    "All Americans do not" blah, blah, blah.

    Keeping listening to your own swill and trust me, you Reds will be surprised in November.

    April 13, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    I still do not believe in the POLLS because CNN has a way to manipulate them. But I have always said that the HATERS who want to continue to HATE and SHOUT that nothing is getting done by this administration are in for a RUDE AWAKENING!!!!

    April 13, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Indy

    Why on Gods green earth would 46% support the Republican party that has done nothing for mankind. They nearly ruined the country over the past decades and someone has the gonads to support a party of nothing ? Forgiving them is anti American, and even thinking of allowing them to further their reign of terror is unthinkable. Supporting them is like giving the weakest department in your company promotions and raises for destroying your company.

    April 13, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    To be honest, it's still too early to tell or make any bold claims. However, I will say that I would LOVE to see how it plays out for the GOPers if they do what I expect them to do over the next couple months...i.e., block financial regulation, stall the SCOTUS nominee, blabber about repealing the HCR bill without giving any indication of what they would "replace" it with, continue courting the right wing lunatic fringe and Tealiban and generally attempt to malign, obstruct and misrepresent anything and everything Obama and the Dems try to do to help the country progress. THAT is a social experiment I'd love to continue.

    April 13, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Who said that Democrats did not listen to the People who elected them? Despite the idiotic message hammered by the party of NO, most people still reason logically and understand that health care reform was something essential for the country. Obama-Biden 2012

    April 13, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Jimbo

    Well, well, well...all of a sudden November may not be the democratic "bloodbath" the braintrust (Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Coulter) had predicted...!

    April 13, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Obama the Liar

    Dream on....the socialist agenda will be defeated.

    April 13, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Desmond in Canada

    If US citizens really know what is good for them and the world, they will vote Dems in 2010 and Obama in 2012

    April 13, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. D. Bunker

    Wow, there must be more brain-dead people with phones than I thought. No thinking person with half a brain could support the disproven ideas of the GOP (tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation and torture). And no thinking person with half a brain could support a teabagger movement based on fear, hate and ignorance.

    I guess the rest of us adults are gonna have to drag these crazy people kicking and screaming into the modern world of science and facts.

    April 13, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. TCM

    haha...nice propaganda try, CNN, but the entire nation knows what a bunch of incompetent boobs the liberal dems are, and it's going to be a landslide for the conservatives...both repubs and dems....liberals are getting the boot, especially the ones who supported healthcare, Cap and Trade, and the Stimulus package; all economy killers...no one in their right mind could continue to support Reid, Pelosi, Grayson, Kosmas...and the like...all need to go, and conservatism needs to be restored, on both sides of the aisle, to save the country as it has in the past. Only fiscal responsibility, high moral standards and honesty will prevail; all which cannot be found in this current administration.

    April 13, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. DownriverDem

    How anyone could vote for the tea bagger Repubs is beyond me. They are so full of hate for Americans that it is embarrassing. Their promotion of revolution is downright scary.

    Who are these tea baggers? They are not like anyone I know.

    April 13, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Dutch

    Pence – Gone
    Bachmann – Gone
    Boehner – Gone
    Cantor – Gone

    The list is going to grow larger the nearer November gets hear. The GOP is through. No is not legislating.

    April 13, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. FM

    Unless and until the GOP realises that they have taken a wrong path of saying "NO" to everything, they will pick very few seats than anticipated come November.

    April 13, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    Nothing succeeds like success, Mom used to say.

    April 13, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Chris D.

    There is going to be a battle in November......The GOP will not blow back into power that easy.

    April 13, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Michelle

    The tide is turning, Republicans. People are seeing more cash in the paychecks, bigger refunds due to the tax cuts, and more jobs. SInce those are the rallying cries for you, and you haven't voted positively for anything, people are giving credit where credit is due: to the White House. This tide will become a tsunami by November, when McCain will be gone, Palin will, finally, be a distant bad memory, and Dems will regain total control of both houses. AND the world will have not come to an end, much to the dismay of Rush, Beck, and Silly Sarah!

    April 13, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Dano

    The tide is turning for the good guys and will continue to do so once people see how they've been lied to by the GOP. Health care reform has passed and wall street regulation is next. The Party of Hell No will be made an ever smaller minority in November, allowing the Democrats to continue cleaning up the mess left over from the previous adminstration. Buh-bye you corrupt bunch of vile crooks, buh-bye!

    April 13, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  24. Gil

    Americans are getting sick of the Party of No. This poll is the first indicator to tell them they are on the wrong track!

    April 13, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Dwayne

    Go Dems! Keep up the good work! Now, let's get that jobs bill back on the move.

    April 13, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
1 2