CNN Poll: GOP has edge in early midterm indicator
December 26th, 2013
09:00 AM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: GOP has edge in early midterm indicator

Washington (CNN) - Democrats have lost their advantage and Republicans now have a slight edge in the battle for control of Congress, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates that President Barack Obama may be dragging down Democratic congressional candidates, and that the 2014 midterm elections are shaping up to be a low-turnout event, with only three in 10 registered voters extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year.

Two months ago, Democrats 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 evaporated, and a CNN poll a month ago indicated the GOP holding a 49%-47% lead. The new survey, conducted in mid-December, indicates Republicans with a 49%-44% edge over the Democrats.

The 13-point swing over the past two months follows a political uproar over Obamacare, which included the botched rollout of and controversy over the possiblity of insurance policy cancelations due primarily to the new health law.

"Virtually all the movement toward the GOP has come among men," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Fifty-four percent of female voters chose the Democratic candidate in October; 53% pick the Dem now. But among male voters, support for Democratic candidates has gone from 46% in October to just 35% now."

Republicans have a 17-seat advantage in the House and Democrats hold 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 cautioned.

"A year before the 2010 midterms, for example, the Democrats held a 6-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 added.

Lack of enthusiasm

According to the poll, only three in 10 registered voters say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for Congress next year, compared to more than four in 10 who felt that way in late 2009. And 43% say they're not enthusiastic about voting, up from 25% who felt that way four years ago.

Democratic voters seem particularly unenthusiastic about voting, and that is likely to benefit the GOP. Thirty-six percent of Republicans say they're extremely or very enthusiastic about voting. That number drops to 22% among Democrats.

Another GOP advantage is the President's standing with the public: 55% of registered voters say that they are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who opposes the President than one who supports him and four in 10 say they are likely to vote for a candidate who supports Obama.

"Those kind of numbers spelled early trouble for the Democrats before the 1994 and 2010 midterms, and for the GOP before the 2006 elections," Holland said.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from December 16-19, with 1,035 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: 2014 • CNN/ORC International poll
soundoff (654 Responses)
  1. joerockbottom

    Hard to believe. The repubs have shown conclusively that they absolutely hate normal people and do everything they do soley for the rich. They are proven to be totally incompetent at governing anythihg and corrupt beyond belief. anyone voting for repubs is voting for more incompetenc, more corruption and the total destruction of the middle class. It is really that simple.

    December 26, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Torn

    The sad thing is the liberals are out of control... and without a party in the middle to make things better the country is forced to give conservatives another go. Which also won't work. But we'll continue to bounce back and forth for decades unless America smartens up and makes a viable, middle-of-the-aisle party.

    December 26, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. destroyerofeconomies

    Liberals are going to lose their minds when republicans control all three branches of government.2016 is going to be historic.Obama has ensured that an entire generation will never trust liberal democrats again.

    December 26, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Only half the country pays taxes, the republican half

    Then they should pay for the wars they love to finance .

    December 26, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. daviddavid

    to claim Bush's policies caused the housing bubble, maybe. He continued the liberal ideology and policy from the 1990's and Clinton yrs. In 2003-2004 when he tried to tighten credit and risk management of Fannie and Freddie, liberals were up in arms. Now did banks take advantage of this policy and become slightly greedy, yes. But the housing bubble was created ONLY by liberal policy and the housing mkt crash... Obama is looking to continue these policies again that led to the housing bubble as well as the student loan bubble that he will cause,

    December 26, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Tiredoflibs

    All I have to say is...Benghazi, NSA, Fast and Furios, IRS targeting conservatives, the joke called Obamacare, the lie that is Obamacare, 94 million Americans unemployed, 17 trillion in debt, Syria, and the failed Iran negotiations. Yea, your guys doing a great job alright. Destroying the country.

    December 26, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  7. Name

    Democrats are good to people that can't function at a high enough level to help themselves

    December 26, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. don in albuquerque

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. The polls and CNN especially all said MittWitt was gonna take Obama to the cleaners. Guess what.....

    December 26, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Jake Quick

    I see this site is filled with post that continue the democrat lies..... he low information voter is here posting the lies they hear in the FAKE USA News.... continuing to support the Obama / Pelosi Con games. WOW.... I am sure you are all desperate now. Your President continues to support $85 / now $75 Billion Fed Printing of Monthly.. and YOU WILL PAY.... you guys pay no attention to the REAL effect of this down the road.

    Just wait until the collapse of all your FREE money $$$$... you will then WAKE UP FAST... and wish you had been up on the TRUTH of what is going on in the USA... for now.. you get to play your games. Have Fun while you can.

    December 26, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    The Repubs will never admit it but, they had a golden opportunity with Obama. Obama considered win win compromise a win for America. The President had shown through his history a willingness to and an ability to COMPROMISE. When backed into an immediate and consistent corner of NO; he compromised with the democrats, having no republican willing to talk to him. The two repubs who did, Bennet and Chris were booted from the party. Our repesenative governtment can only function by compromise.

    December 26, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Freedom311

    As the lefts lies are being exposed one by one...they still wonder why the tide is turning. They brag about SS and Medicare, as they sink under their own weight while leaving us with around 100 TRILLION in unfunded mandates with no way to pay for them. They claim their poorly thought out "great society" is some kind of success, when it's nothing but a dismal failure that's helped to destroy the family unit. Now these same charlatans are claiming that Obamacare is really the Republicans idea, even though not so much as one of them voted for it. LOL Face it lefties, nobody believes you anymore except for your partners in crime in the MSM...and even they are turning on you. 2014 can't get here soon enough.

    December 26, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. ChrisM

    Sorry Repubs, just like in the last election, when Fox News said Romney in a landslide ( and you fools believe them)
    2014 will be another slap in the face and another wake up call for all you foolish repubs. You think the ACA will be the Only focus in 2014? Wrong again, repubs. There are Many more things to consider. Stock Market over 16,300 (my and millions of other Americans retirement accounts have not been happier) The ending two wars, equal pay for women (women make up 51% of the Americans voters, so your war on women repubs, cost you elections, , see the Virginia election also) , 48 months of job growth, Osama bin Laden dead, 8.5 million jobs created, all without a single republican vote.
    So you see Repubs, you have ALOT more to think about than just the ACA

    December 26, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. was a dem

    Well they can count on me voting in 2014. Mark me as was a dem, but not anymore!

    December 26, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. tomng

    Does it matter who win. the only loser in this political game will be us anyway

    December 26, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Stephen

    To vliggett,
    You are fuming about high cost deductible but seem to forget that if you didn't have any insurance and had to get any procedure done, it would ALL be coming out of your pocket anyway.

    December 26, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. victor freeman

    All in office out,revolution,revolution,victor freeman from italian mofia run USA

    December 26, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    too bad people only think 10 days down the road (if that long even), not 10 years, and cant remember what happen last week much less the last decade.

    December 26, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  18. Minh Tran

    If Democrat is in control, move 402K to stocks area since economy is good. If Republican is in control, move 401K to the fixed income area to protect your investment since these people creating mess for economy and jobs. With this strategic, I did not loss anything between 1988 and 1992 as well as 2000 and 2008, and I gained a bunch between 1992 and 2000 as well as from 2008 until now. No politic view here, it is just pure stock investment view.

    December 26, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    keep fighting left to right while the 1% wins it all.

    December 26, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. HoTamale24

    democrats, "the party of lies, blame and deceit"
    obamacare is yours....
    economy is smoke and mirrors and
    employment is all gov't jobs which are not self sustainable

    December 26, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  21. Name

    Only for those that were paying thier way already

    December 26, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. spytheweb

    Gee i hope republicans do get control and i'am a democrat!!! I don't like what's going on in the government. Feet dragging in Afghanistan when we should have been gone years ago. The democratic Senate who just voted to allow illegal aliens to collect billions in tax refunds and voted to cut military pensions. Obama stating that illegal aliens are Americans too, no they are not. Democrats pushing amnesty and erasing of our borders. Obamacare is a mess and the worst is yet to come. Have people really taken a look at the deducible? Some have 4,000 dollars and up.

    What the democrats are doing is using fear, vote for republicans and they will be worst. I don't care, all i know is that the guys in charge are screwing up and i want them out. The next group if they screw up vote them out too but don't keep the ones you have because you fear something new. Hey republicans maybe what we need instead of a welfare democratic supported state. Democrats want to erase our borders and we will cease to be a nation and will be well on our way to becoming another 3rd world banana republic.

    December 26, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh good. The party that spent goodness knows how many years screaming about the uninsured getting "free stuff" (i.e: emergency room coverage at no cost) are now the same folks screaming others shouldn't afford themselves of ACA benefits because it requires they insure themselves.

    How utterly delicious GOPers have become in their consistency and their talking point logic.

    December 26, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Marcus (from...?)

    Jake Quick: 'Just wait until the collapse of all your FREE money $$$$... you will then WAKE UP FAST... and wish you had been up on the TRUTH of what is going on in the USA... for now.. you get to play your games. Have Fun while you can.'

    Five years and a few months late.
    Conservatives like to tout the economic numbers of the GWB's years as president... minus the last eight to ten months when the bill for such 'prosperity' became way too public to be ignored any longer.
    And now they want us to go back to those formulas and models that crashed the economy...

    December 26, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. acspore

    The poll of misinformed and uninformed and easily gullible will always show a Republican lead. Any Republican lead is always based on misinformation, untruths, manipulating of the easily swayed. The Democrat Intelligent machine hasn't fired yet, as John Paul Jones said, "I have not yet begun to fight."

    December 26, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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