November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

CNN/ORC poll: Democrats lose 2014 edge following Obamacare uproar

Washington (CNN) - What a difference a month makes.

A new CNN/ORC International poll indicates a dramatic turnaround in the battle for control of Congress in next year's midterm elections.

Democrats a month ago held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot, which asked respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates.

That result came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling.

But the Democratic lead has disappeared. A new CNN/ORC poll indicates the GOP now holds a 49%-47% edge.

The new survey was conducted last week and released Tuesday.

The 10-point swing follows a political uproar over Obamacare, which included the botched rollout of and controversy over insurance policy cancelations due primarily to the new health law.

The turnaround in the CNN/ORC poll follows similar shifts in recent national surveys from Quinnipiac University and Fox News.

At a news conference two weeks ago, President Barack Obama acknowledged that problems plaguing the startup of the new healthcare law could hurt Democrats.

"There is no doubt that our failure to rollout the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin," Obama said.

The CNN/ORC poll, released as the President makes a West Coast campaign fundraising swing on behalf of fellow Democrats, indicates both parties making gains within their base.

"It looks like the biggest shifts toward the Republicans came among white voters, higher-income Americans, and people who live in rural areas, while Democrats have gained strength in the past month among some of their natural constituencies, such as non-white voters and lower-income Americans," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"If those patterns persist into 2014, it may indicate that Obamacare is popular among those who it was designed to help the most, but unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care," Holland said.

Republicans currently have a 17-seat advantage in the U.S. House with the Democrats holding a 55-45 majority in the Senate.

While the generic ballot question is one of the most commonly used indicators when it comes to the battle for Congress, the poll results are a long way from predicting what will happen next November.

"There is just under a year to go before any votes are actually cast and the 'generic ballot' question is not necessarily a good predictor of the actual outcome of 435 separate elections," Holland cautions.

"A year before the 2010 midterms, for example, the Democrats held a six-point lead on the generic ballot but the GOP wound up regaining control of the House in that election cycle, thanks to an historic 63-seat pickup," he said.

The poll was conducted November 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans, including 749 registered voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Filed under: 2014 • CNN/ORC poll • Congress
soundoff (885 Responses)
  1. Fred Evil

    "Socialism and Capitalism cannot be combined"
    Complete malarkey. It's already done. Pretending it hasn't only demonstrates how little you understand 'socialism.'

    November 26, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. admire

    I heard the same thing in the presidential election.....and guess what happened?? GOP meltdown. Karl ROVE example hahahah!!!

    November 26, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. ora pike

    obama will lie cheat and steal to get his obamacare set up--he has now given the ;unions an out--the unions do not want obamacare so obama gave them what they wanted--he is buying votes with these "things". Write this down, he will spend trillions just to make the entire population get obamacare-–"the existing policies do not meet the obamacare standards{. Wake up america you are losing your country and defeat is coming from the inside. ONce we have socialized health care then it will be energy then education then then then until we have no rights. 80,000,000 employees will lose their insurance after next years elections.l

    November 26, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Todd

    But we have 11 months to convince voters.
    Winning elections isn't about what you did years or months ago. It is about what you did last week. If the Republicans Try an other round of Hardball like they did earlier this month, then they will probably loose out more. If the week before the election the Dems screw up, then it will go to the GOP.
    Most voters have already forgotten about the government shutdown. If the website starts working soon, they will for get about that too.

    November 26, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Me


    Unbelievable...the freaking neanderthals who are against women, gays, minorities, the working man and anyone not already wealthy are in the lead!?!?!?!?!? SMH
    Sorry buddy but the American public sees through your lies and will vote republican in 2014. You and your kind are the neanderthals that can't even read a bill until it is passed and that blindly follow your failed leader!!!

    November 26, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Edd

    This is not a majority poll when you only survey 1000 people on land lines. Your poll is not trustworthy. You only do this to draw people to your news outlet. Media outlets should stop deceiving us. Until you start reporting remarkable news versus your dogmatic style, your media outlet will not be dependable.

    November 26, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Dennis

    If it is a legitimate GOP idea. The people have a way of rejecting it.

    November 26, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. longfisch

    A month ago, Political Ticker was filled with people laughing at the demise of the GOP shown to be true because of polls, and the doubters will told to go back to their Faux news if they could not handle the truth CNN was reporting.

    One month later polls do not matter, and CNN is run by the GOP.

    November 26, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Bill Brown

    Rational thinkers understand the process takes time. Kudos to those in gov;t taking action for the people rather than the obstructionist GOP. Such a disgusting strategy the GOP and the Faux news folks have played. And big money politics paying people to post on these boards. GOP is done.

    November 26, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. just asking

    here's the bottom bottom line....

    obama, reid, pelosi and all the democrats have been lying and conning the american people for years about this disaster. obamacare is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the american people. fraud, misrepresentation, bait & switch, all crimes, except if perpetrated by a polictical party on american citizens.

    your only recourse and possibility of getting rid of the massively destructive obamacare is to vote for republicans, who have been telling the truth to the american people and sounding the warning bells for years. they have fought valiently to keep obamacare from doing exactly what it is now doing. democrats have fought them and called them terrorists, hostage takers in the process. well we now know it is the democrats that are the terrorists and hostage takers.

    don't screw up again america and believe obama and democrat lies. 2014 is your last chance to right this sinking ship and save your healthcare system.

    November 26, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Not only is ObamaCare bad for Democrats, but the repeated LIES from Obama and Democrat politicians make them Untrustworthy.
    Democrats have no credibility anymore.

    November 26, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Politics aside, the actual results of the poll are useless since the difference in the results lies within the poll's margin of error.

    November 26, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. VJ

    Republicans = Do nothing and good for nothing party.
    They want to tank the economy as much as they could, so that they can won white house in 2016!! – Day Dreaming!!
    Republicans = Obama Care = bad policy = why we have to give insurance for all!!
    Republicans = alternate plan = nothing
    Republicans = no deal with Iran and Syria
    Republicans = Anti-Abortion is priority
    Republicans = Trans vaginal Ultra sound
    Republicans = oppose minimum wage
    Republicans = SS, Medicare and Medicaid, change them to private so that corporations can make huge profits on this.
    Republicans = many more to come. ....

    November 26, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Malory Archer


    A month ago, Political Ticker was filled with people laughing at the demise of the GOP shown to be true because of polls, and the doubters will told to go back to their Faux news if they could not handle the truth CNN was reporting.

    One month later polls do not matter, and CNN is run by the GOP.


    And in January 2014 the tides will turn again with the rethugs once again shutting down the government. Goood times, good times!

    November 26, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Me


    The end of civilization as we know it will happen if we let the Republicans win congress. Do more of nothing, say no to everything, and live in the past. Minimum wage will never be raised and workers will be stuck in poverty while the rich CEO's rake in huge profits and bonuses...........
    Ya and all those "poor" people that keep voting Dem year after year (as someone on hear already mentioned) are rich now huh?? Get a clue and stop drinking the kool-aid!!! You may like to support liars and cheats but the majority of America does not!!!

    November 26, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Ahhh Sheit Midrauers

    Wow, we Americans sure are dumb. The GOP denies request for more funding for the website, which was a small fraction compared the $24 billion plus they lost because of their game playing that caused the shutdown. They deny requests for more funding to protect American embassies, and then Lybian American Embassy gets attacked and an ambassador dies. They say they support the troops, but deny funding for veteran's affairs and for better protective equipment for our soldiers. One president lies about insurance not being dropped and another lies about getting a b j under the table and their ratings drop immediately. Another president lies about WMD's, pulls us into an unnecessary war killing thousands of American soldiers and hundreds of thousands Iraqi's, but ratings drop slowly. Although it is the logical move, Obama does not bring up Single Payer healthcare idea as healthcare fix, but American's cry socialism anyway. First of all, you're naive to think any president, besides maybe Jimmy Carter, did not lie. So, don't be surprised that Obama is not completely honest. Second, our narrow and short term memory based perspectives are what is killing this country. If the GOP, as how it operates today, gains ground next year, then we have signed our own death warrant

    November 26, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Paul

    Democrats lost all credibility when they sat by and watched Obama LIE, and they did nothing.
    Democrats have admitted they Knew Obama was Lying... but they didn't stop him or even try to correct him.

    Democratic Party cannot be trusted. No integrity.

    November 26, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Vince

    They had an advantage on the 2012 presidential election a year out as well. What's next, a weather report for July 4th, 2014?

    November 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  19. RAL

    It's About Time Obama has been seen for what he is and what he knows
    Nothing about leadership Honest or upholding the Constitution
    Lets hope the next 3 years we can keep out Freedom and quash his Socialist agenda!

    November 26, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Obama "the truth" used car sales man

    Man CNN you brought out the crazies with this article. Liberals blame everyone and everything but the president and his party for the complete misery they are causing this country. Wall Street all time highs with main street suffering and liberals supporting the largest transfer of wealth from working Americans to corporations.

    November 26, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Demigod Vadik, CA

    There is a 10 point swing in one month and people think that Republicans will win 11 months from now???


    ...never forget how despised Republicans are on 99.99% of other issues....

    November 26, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. QS

    All this proves is that too many Americans are too gullible and have fallen for the Koch brothers' demonization campaign of the ACA, aided and abetted by your friendly neighborhood conservative!

    November 26, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Dave


    the GOP pays CNN to post these phony "news" stories"

    Thanks for the best laugh I have had in months.

    November 26, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Dave


    the GOP pays CNN to post these phony "news" stories"

    WOW. Thanks for the best laugh I have had in months.

    November 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. kiki

    Wait, there is another deb, ate on increasing the debt limit, reminder, they are going to demand to repeal the ACA before they can raise the debt. I find fascinating how fast we forget.

    November 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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