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. southerngent

    More liberal bs just like opposition to picture I.d.. Using your logic why not just eliminate voter I.d. of any kind., just show up and vote.

    November 26, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Bubba Ray

    Vote GOP. The Koch brothers have big plans for America!

    November 26, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Matt

    The election is a year away. Last month the dems had an advantage, this month the Reps have an advantage. I don't know who will come out ahead in the midterms but what I do know is that polls will shift 10 times before next November.

    November 26, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. jason

    If Americans vote republicans because someone tried to help them....Then they deserve Cheney....and thats what they will get

    November 26, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Sandra

    LOTS can happen in a year and I suspect lots WILL.

    November 26, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. Guest

    that's why Harry Reid changed the rules of the Senate.

    November 26, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Lisa

    Just like Romney was going to win in landslide after the first debate.

    November 26, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. Patrick in Wisconsin

    mike, quite right, impeach Ted Cruz. Tell Canada they can have him back.

    November 26, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Lacy Collins

    "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."

    That part should read "unpopular among the larger group of voters who are paying for it."

    November 26, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Steve Allard

    I like how they mention the Fox News survey. This is the same survey group that had Romney winning in a landslide and caused Karl Rove to run around on election night, on live TV, incredulous that Mitt was losing.

    November 26, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. the blood

    Still...unless people actually vote the polls are meaningless

    November 26, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. tony

    We used to have small government and low taxes over and over again in the past.

    It was called the "Middle Ages" and the government was Kings and Queens and the people were called "Serfs" and typically starved.

    November 26, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Victor Cuadra

    Rudy NYC said: "NICE TRY. You cannot "let the ACA go into effect" and delay the MANDATE portion at the same time. The mandate is the law. Oh yeah, BTW, Sen. Ted Cruz has taken full credit and ownership for the shutdown. He did it shortly after the shutdown ended. Anyone paying attention would have known this."

    Rudy... then why is President Obama delaying the mandate now? If you were paying attention you would have known this....
    Do you understand what the mandate is? You are mandated to have health insurance in 2014. Repubilcans wanted to push it back an entire year. President Obama has not delayed the mandate. He has requested that the deadline date for 2014 enrollment be pushed back. The mandate is not being delayed. You are still mandated to have health insurance in 2014.

    If you didn't listen to right wing media, then you could have figured this out for yourself.

    November 26, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. tony

    For comparison here are the current Single Payer, Heath System charges on single or joint income of all individuals, couples or families, aged up to 65 of another English speaking, Civilized Free Country. No charge for those aged over 65.

    $0 if income is under $1000/mo. 12% pro rata of next $4000/mo. Drops to 2% on income of over $5000/mo. No co-pays or other charges for medical care, doctor or hospitals, short or long term, or elder care. So if you make:

    $2000/mo, that’s $120/mo for all med cover
    $3000/mo, that’s $240/mo for all med cover
    $4000/mo, that’s $360/mo for all med cover
    $5000/mo, that’s $480/mo for all med cover

    Charges are so low (1) because everyone is included and (2) drug, equipment and service providers have to compete to supply the single payer system at bulk rates.

    Full, timely medical cover, (far higher longevity, survival, general health and satisfaction rate than the US) on everything except for cosmetic surgery. Elective procedures have lower time priority. Private Insurance (extra) available for deluxe private hospital stays, private specialist/celebrity doctors, etc.

    No completely unnecessary "forced-in middle-men" medical insurance companies to skim profits from every transaction.

    Having lots of experience of both sides, I don't know anyone on the single payer system who would swap to the US (Reagan-nocare) "system"

    November 26, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  15. Wes

    Why is it always a choice between untrustworthy party D and unworthy party R? Why is there never a legimate 3rd choice? One reason is the electoral college, the other is that in 1999 the R's and D's decided that no party polling at less than 20% (??) would be allowed on a televised debate.

    Folks, please stop the madness.... stop voting for the lesser of two evils. Vote for a 3rd party. Yes, you may throw your vote away, but if you didn't vote at all it would be the same result.

    November 26, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Rosso

    This is great news. Let's hope the Dems are done for good. We don't need these socialist haters of American values.

    November 26, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. Dan

    Why anyone in the 99% would vote republican is beyond comprehension.

    November 26, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. jksu2

    Obamacare is a tax and screws everyone in the country equally. No surprise in the polls here.

    November 26, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. cluck cluck

    I'm done caring about the country and I'm never voting again. I agree with the first post here. they don't care, why the hell should I?

    November 26, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. sally

    I sincerely hope the polls are wrong because if the American people put in the GOP, they can expect to be worked over even worse. They represent the rich and entrenched...they admittedly and blatantly don't want medical care for Americans, they hate government except when they can get those lucrative contracts, and worse, they are contemptuous of the poor. They are utterly calloused!

    November 26, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. dean morse

    After seeing months of non action, other than burying their collective heads in the sand, the GOP House has shown the world what is important to them, and it is not middle class americans, nor is it the poor, nor is it the elderly. If the GOP retains control of congress, then America deserves what it gets. I would hope that there are more intelligent voters than idiots for that not to happen.

    November 26, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Jack 2

    All we had to do is let Obama be Obama and knew he would bury himself under his ineptness.

    November 26, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. andrewmag166

    Dems lost big in the 90's after the tried to shove socialsit health care and extreme gun control down peoples throat. I really think its radical dems that do this. they will lose big again, Clinton tried to warn them. Its like radical dems think if they win votes it gives them the permit to implement the most radical agendas, they always get thrown out when they do it.

    November 26, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  24. Jack 2


    Why anyone in the 99% would vote republican is beyond comprehension.

    Answer: one word to answer that...Obama.

    November 26, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. davecu

    A large part of the problem we find ourselves in stem from the "my party right or wrong" mind set.
    Neither party is correct at all times, regardless of your views.
    Both parties lie to get re-elected, altho one more than the other of late.

    Do your research and vote accordingly. We are all capable of independent thought.

    November 26, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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