July 30th, 2010
01:13 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: How public views political parties


 A new CNN poll explores how Americans view political parties. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - With just over three months until November's midterm elections, a new national poll gives a picture of how Americans view the two political parties battling for control of Congress.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday, Democrats hold a 46 to 39 percent advantage over the Republican party on the question of which party cares more about the needs of people like you, with the Democrats and the GOP tied on which party can bring the kind of change the country needs.

But the poll indicates that the Republicans have a small to significant edge on several other measures.

The GOP is slightly ahead when it comes to which party agrees with you on the issues (a two point advantage) and on which party can improve the economy (a three point advantage). The Republicans hold an eight point margin over the Democrats on which party shares your view of the government and which party can effectively manage the government.

Full results (pdf)

According to the survey, the GOP is 14 points ahead of the Democrats on which party can protect the country from terrorism and which party is patriotic.

The survey also indicates that six in ten Americans say the government is now doing too much, and a majority say that the government should promote traditional values.

"These results illustrate the reasons why the Democrats are now behind on the so-called 'generic ballot' question," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The Democrats manage no better than a virtual tie on issues, but they are behind when it comes to handling the government. And when the presidency is not at stake, the congressional elections are the only way that voters can do something about the direction the government will take."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted July 16-21, with 1,018 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN Polls • Democrats • Republicans
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. MartiM, TX

    Dear CNN, you should do a poll on how the public feels about polls.

    July 30, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  2. bobden

    Sure. The repubs did such a great job with the economy from 1995 to 2007. And they've done such a great job of blocking efforts to fix some of the mess they made.

    July 30, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Angus McDugan

    Parties should be outlawed as they force divisive behavior and cause tremendous inefficiency.

    July 30, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. are-we-going-nuts?

    The Poll should also indicate that 50% of Americans suffer from short-term memory. Wasn't it the GOP that destroyed the economy during their 8 years in office? Why do they feel now they have the answer?

    July 30, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Ted

    Polls are only for those that answer and those that care. Every poll asks 1000 people about their opinion with twisted and biased questions to elicit specific responses and somehow the pollsters come up with some accuracy measurement which is further baloney. The real poll that counts will be on election day and that is when millions get to answer the questions, not a selected few in a selected demographic.

    July 30, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. Dale

    I support what the Republicans say, generally speaking. Some day I would like to see them actually do what they say. They say "Fiscally conservative government" and spend like drunken sailors and cut taxes on rich people and corporations. They say "Christian values" and advocate torture of prisoners, unnecessary wars, look the other way while fellow Americans die of treatable illnesses and they show all manner of intolerance. They promise to move the country forward while actively fighting tooth and nail against any and all progress.

    July 30, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. are-we-going-nuts?

    It's amazing how a group of people can be so feeble minded. What's the philosophy here? Since the GOP destroyed the economy, they know how to fix it?

    July 30, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. JIlli

    But the poll indicates that the Republicans have a small to significant edge on several other measures. – BASED ON WHAT RESULTS?



    Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter.

    July 30, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. LB in FL

    I think most people in this country:

    1. Watch too much FoxNoise
    2. Don't realize how bad Bush and the GOP screwed up, excuse me, decimated, government/federal agencies and deregulated everything. A total "party" for 8 years, the rich got a whole lot richer, gutting the middle class and labor.
    3. They just perceive that government is "doing too much" because they did NOTHING for the people during 2000-2008. (see #2)

    July 30, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. sammieb51

    The GOP has a 3 point lead over the Dems for teh party that can improve the economy - REALLY???? OMG! I heard a week or so ago, another poll, that said only 34% of Americans knew TARP was passed under Bush. Americans need to turn off the TV and start reading some history to get the facts or we will end up with the majority GOP in our congressional body wondering a year or so from now when there is 2.3 Trillion added to our debt what the heck happened! Wake up America!

    July 30, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. vet in tx

    "Clowns on the left of me, Jokers on the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you!"

    July 30, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Liz the First

    They must've just polled republican'ts! either that or they checked the IQ records and only asked folks at the bottom. doesn't anyone in this country have a memory? doesn't anyone remember it was the rethugs that got us into this mess, and once again we are having to clean up their mess? how many times does this have to happen before people wise up and stop electing these government-hating, American people-hating, incompetent, evil, hypocritical anarchists??????

    July 30, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Susan

    The same morons who re-elected George W. Bush are probably the same ones respondng to this poll!

    After 8 years of Republic greed, fraud and ineptitude, I wouldn't let them take care of my dog, let alone the country!

    July 30, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Fed Up

    As far as I am concerned, a politician has to reach up from underground to scratch a used car salesman's foot, as far as trust and honesty are concerned. It doesn't matter which party they are from. Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out.

    July 30, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Robert

    Good God in heaven! Republicans hold an edge on who most people believe can fix the economy? Are you fricken kidding me? They put us in this mess..

    Are Americans really THAT unable to remember our recent history?

    Heck, no wonder we can't move forward.... the looney undecideds are so impatient they can't stand that Obama and the Dems haven't fixed in a year what 8 years of incompetence brought us...

    July 30, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Orlando Patriot

    I teach Economics so let me give you a quick summation. The ONLY way to increase production/output (i.e. GDP) in a sustainable way is for the PRIVATE SECTOR (i.e. businesses) to find a way to produce more with less (i.e. reduce opportunity cost). End result is for the ecomomy to grow you MUST give businesses a REASON to be in business. If that can't make a reasonable profit they will not STAY in business.

    Secondly, a business will not HIRE a worker unless their Marginal Revenue Product of Labor is greater than or equal to their total cost of that worker (i.e. as long as the employee does not cost more than the profit they bring in). End result is Obama has INTENTIONALLY increased the cost of business (with health care, financial reform, massive tax increase by letting Bush tax cuts expire, etc. etc. etc.) as well as raise massive uncertainty in the market. OF COURSE BUSINESSES WILL NOT HIRE!!!

    You Liberals need to go to school and take an economics course. NOTHING that the Democrat party stands for have any positive impact to business so, by definition, the Democrat party policies would keep us in a long-term recession which Obama has succeeded in KEEPING us in a recession for over 18 months!! The last time MASSIVE progressive policies were initiated was at the beginning of the market fall in 1929. FDR initiated New Deal policies that threw our economy into a Great Depression that lasted more than ten years. Move ahead to 2009 when Obama initiated MORE progressive policies in 18 months than FDR could have only DREAMED about.

    And you are now suprised to find we are STILL in a recession? Of course we are and if Obama is not stopped we could see a 10 year stagnant economy like we did during FDR's terms or like Japan in the 90's. Follow the Democrat Party and you are guaranteed a lacking economy for many many years.

    July 30, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. Naqib

    So... America thinks Dems care more... but are morons...
    Got it

    July 30, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Gary

    I don't believe it.

    July 30, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. ajax

    Another poll that CNN trying to influence public opinion instead of reporting what the facts are.It doesn't matter Obama has been unmasked by the American people.CNN can't keep their favorite in charge forever.

    July 30, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. The Smart One

    So the Republicans hold a two point advantage on improving the economy?!? Yet they are the ones who got us in this mess. Gee, are the American people stupid?!?! Yes. The answer is most definitely yes.

    July 30, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. goofus

    Both parties ; empty suits using the system for their own enrichment !!!

    July 30, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. JES

    It's not the party you are from every damn one you are self centerd and it's all about you not the voters.

    Vote them all out in November.

    July 30, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Georgia, Joe

    I find it amazing how quickly voters forget the mess created by the Republicans in the past decade. The Bush/Cheney administration took into an unnecessary and expensive war. Spent government resources with no regard for the impact on future generations and created a business environment that came close to creating an economic meltdown. It has taken extraordinary measures to create a path to recovery from years of mismanagement. Voters may not like everything that has been done, but sometimes recovering from a very bad situation is more painful than the path it took to get into the mess in the first place. Voters need to ask are we in a better place today, both economically and in our standing in the world, than we were 2 years ago. The answer is a resounding yes and slowly getting better every day.

    July 30, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. j

    THE GOP IS THE PARTY THAT CREATED THE GLOBAL DISASTER WE'RE IN NOW! Americans definitely have short & long term memory problems. Deficit spending is NOT the answer. Tax cuts are NOT the answer. If people who support the GOP took a serious look at the 3 past Republican administrations, they'd see a political party that GREW the size of government, not decreased it. So in all ways, the GOP is a bunch of bigoted hypocrites. I'm not saying that the Democrats are perfect but they're ones that are going to get us out of this financial disaster we're in, NOT the Republicans.

    July 30, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. vic

    This portion of reports attracted me so much because some people don’t get it

    “According to the survey, the GOP is 14 points ahead of the Democrats on which party can protect the country from terrorism and which party is patriotic.”

    July is worst month for our troops in Afghan. We had green signal from world including Iran to destroy Al- Qaida 8 years back. Republican president and congress they mislead to Iraq Because of that we didn’t finish our job in Afghan

    Republicans more patriotic than democrats because
    democrats approach problems smart way and they don’t spread rumors
    or republicans say no to every thing

    July 30, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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