November 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
7 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. Tom J

    I am sorry, buit all of them are incompetent and they all should be voted out no matter what party. They are all ineffective with no ideas on how to actually serve the people.

    November 26, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. tateofpa

    This is what happen when you show yourself as being incompetent and lie to the American people.

    November 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. C W (Texas, Republican)

    Some are saying people will forget by next election. I bet everyone who loses a big chunk of their paycheck for health insurance due to ACA won't forget.

    November 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Donna

    Even the New York Times and David Axelrod have come out and admiited that one of the primary goals of Obama was the redistribution of wealth. So Obama and the rest of the lying Democrats USED the fact that some people didn't have healthcare to "justify" and conceal their REAL agenda, which a massive new government entitlement that everybody would pay for through hidden taxes (higher healthcare costs). A majority would also lose their doctor, their hospital, their healthcare and see their costs increase as those added costs are needed to give healthcare to others.

    So, just as the Democrats and liberals have perverted the tax code from a means of funding our government into a massive charity/welfare/wealth transfer system, in a similar fashion they have now perverted your healthcare insurance system.

    WAKE UP AMERICA!! Socialist Democrats are lying to you, tricking you and deceiving you into taking what you have and giving it to others, usually their supporters.

    November 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Laura Bush Killed Michael Dutton Douglas

    1976 – It will likely take the GOP a decade or more to recover from Watergate; 1988 – Bush Sr. trails by double digits v. Dukakis in latest poll; 1991 – Bush Sr. enjoying unprecedented popularity in wake of the Gulf War, will be unbeatable in 1992; 1994 – GOP pulls off major Coup with Contract For America, enjoys landslide victories in mid-term elections, gains control of both House and Senate; 1996 – Contract for What?!; 2008 – Dems gain White House, supermajority in Senate, GOP likely becoming irrelevant; 2010 – Anti-incumbent fervor dominates midterm elections, Obama prez approval ratings among lowest in history; 2012 – Obama Wins; Oct. 2013 – Polls indicate big trouble for GOP in 2014; Now, Nov. 26, 2013 – Democrats Lose 2014 Edge Following Obamacare Uproar.

    Call me jaded, but I think I'll wait to see what 2014 brings in terms of candidates and current issues before I put any thought into who I'll vote for.

    November 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Nodack

    Democrats are doomed and a month before that Republicans were doomed and a month before that Democrats were doomed and a moth before that Republicans were doomed.

    Each side takes turns screwing up and America takes a poll to see who they hate worse every month.

    November 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Let us pray

    Liberals if we just believe and put our faith in his hands our beliefs will be implemented on this country and we will force the opposition to finally accept the grandeur that is our one and true savior obama.

    please little baby Obama bless us and guide us to single payer system, even though we have no idea on how it works but for a paragraph explanation you gave us, please baby obama help us end the wars except for the ones you started and lastly, little 12 oz smiling hairless half naked baby Obama please help us raise taxes on the rich collecting pay checks all while ignoring the fact that the rich actually don't get pay checks. In your name we pray, amen

    November 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Paul

    What exactly have the Republican done except obstruct? Personally, I will vote for candidates that work with the opposite party to get things done. Throw in the right wing extremists that want to shut down the gov't, the war on women's healthcare, the refusal to even bring immigration (senate passed a bill) to the table for a vote in the house, and the restriction of voting rights....and, frankly, I am not sure how anyone can justify voting for a Republican?

    November 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Mopery

    I hope the American people aren't stupid enough to elect any more republicans to office. We need a real 3rd party, a secular one, one not co-opted by the Koch brothers or other corporate interests.

    November 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |

    Despite the pre-election hype the 2014 election is a long way off. We haven't even hit the two minute warning yet. A lot of things can happen between now and then. The premature ejaculation of Republican confidence belies the many real problems of the RNC.
    Chief among these problems is the disenfranchisement of ethnic groups of all sorts, inability to get a grip on the runaway train that's the US budget, too much identification with past glories (Bush & Reagan) and too little vision for the future leadership of the party and the nation. The RNC likes Hispanic spice in its food and music but not in its caucuses. Therein lies exposed its Achilles heel.
    The RNC is running with a hamstring injury and cannot win anything major until that problem is healed.
    and that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

    November 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Greenspam

    Ultimately, Obamacare does nothing to control cost. But then, people need to decide either they want a system that's affordable but has long lines waiting, or they want a system that's not affordable but has short line waiting. You realy can't have it both ways. But American people just want both ways

    November 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. betterdays

    There are plenty of uneducated Democrat voters who think that the president "runs the country." With Obama off the ballot, this could be interesting. The best thing Republicans could do right now would be to pass a continuing resolution funding the government "as-is." Democrats will continue attempts to push implementation of anything that could result in further unpopularity beyond next November. If I were a Democrat in Congress, I'd be very careful with immigration reform right now.

    November 26, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Rosie

    Finally CNN tells the truth!! Dems are going down. Too bad there is nothing to replace them with but a bunch of trailer trash hillbilly GOP lifers.

    November 26, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Fish

    The Dems have a long history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory because they vote by knee-jerk reaction to single issues. They allow one item with which they disagree to spoil the entire ballot and thus destroy their political agenda. They must learn that to succeed in politics sometimes we must take a bitter dose of medicine to get the sweet stuff of the overall goal which will aid in healing!!!

    November 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Chris

    Sony had problems with the Sony network on the release of it's new PS4. The Sony Network is funded by SONY. It was an established system and it had serious bugs. Don't be so stupid. Obama care isn't a quick fix. Republicans lost women and minorities by GREAT margins. What have they done to make good with these voters? Oh that is right nothing but blame Obama care which was a GOP idea. SMH. CNN this is why people are so stupid.

    November 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. BCF

    They deny requests for more funding to protect American embassies, and then Lybian American Embassy gets attacked and an ambassador dies.
    Funding was incresae every year and was at an all time high....let's call it what it is the Dems ignored signs that our Ambassador was in bad situation and then refused to help shame on Obama

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------- you have no clue what you're talking about. Almost every European nation including Russia provided the US with their own information stating they believed that Iraq had WMDs. Bush disclosed this to the Senate and House and people like Hillary Clinton and a number of others agreed that the evidance was conclusive that Iraq had WMDs and voted in favor of war especially when Saddam held U.N. WIs outside of facilities and had military vechicals leave the back of the facilities with unknown contents. Of course later on Iraq military officals admitted that they were afraid of Iran and faked everything to make it look like they had WMDs and that Saddam beleived that the US would not fight a two front war.

    November 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. OldSchool

    Some would have you believe that these "independents" are thoughtful, deliberative people – they are not. For the most part these people are uninformed dolts who are easily swayed by the various propaganda that they are exposed to from both sides of the political spectrum, and this is just another such piece. I often wonder how much these sorts of poll results themselves sway these waffling, feckless ignoramuses...

    November 26, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. BCF

    Although it is the logical move, Obama does not bring up Single Payer healthcare idea as healthcare fix, but American's cry socialism anyway.
    Once again you're mistaken..Obama did want a single payer system but his own party told him they would not support it and it was removed from the original version of the ACA. Get a clue!

    November 26, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. PortOurTroops

    Remember the BUSH. Oh, I thought you wanted to forget 2 useless wars and a ruined economy.

    November 26, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  20. J Russ

    still having trouble understanding how the Republicas are to blame for a shutdown caused by Senate Democrats...............anyway still don't see any Rs or Ds that are worth a damn

    November 26, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. stevie68a

    republicans are so good at getting people to vote against their own interests.

    November 26, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. truth hurts

    Obama and Democrat LIES, repeated LIES, all on video tape, will be played over and over again to the tens of millions of American voters who they lied to. All of those Americans didn't lose something theoretical, they are losing their doctors, their hospitals, their insurance coverage and then getting slapped with a bill costing far more than they were paying.

    This time the progressive/socialist/communist Democrat Party crossed far over the line to force their far left agenda down the throats of the American people. People will not forgive them themanytime soon for this massive failure, disaster and destruction of their healthcare. To some, it could cost them their lives. But Democrats think that is OK as long as they get what they want, control of you and the healthcare system.

    November 26, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Dave


    The government shut down is all on Obama a d Reid. Anyone paying attention now understand this. It was their refusal to negotiate just the MANDATE implementation schedule with the Republicans which forced the shut down. The republicans had already compromised and conceded to let the ACA go into effect. They only wanted to delay the MANDATE portion because, as they stated over and over, it was not ready. Millions were predicted to lose their current coverage, and be forced to buy a plan that they may not want, and lose the doctor of their choice, if they want an "affordable" plan. The republicans ONLY were asking the President to delay the MANDATE the EXACT same way he unilaterally did for BIG BUSINESS.

    Then when Obama shut down the government he shut down very visible open parks, which actual cost US, the TAX PAYERS more to close than it cost to keep them open. The PEOPLE paying attention KNOW that this was simply a political move done because of his arrogant ego.

    November 26, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. simplyput

    It's not that the Repubs are that stupid, it's that they are that BROKE. Always remember, it's the economy, stupid.
    The only vote of my life went to Obama. Now, I'll help remove all dems from office, and help in a big way.

    November 26, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  25. Me


    I dont believe it....I think it is probably more like 60/40 versus 49/47...Ultimately folks are starting to deal with the issues and not the political party...
    You are actually probably pretty close with that assumption, if you look at the details, there were 8% more Dems polled then Repubs so the poll is skewed toward the left more than in reality!

    November 26, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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