CNN Poll: Huge Swing to GOP Puts Senate in Play
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 09:41 AM
By: Drew MacKenzie
Republicans have made a massive turnaround in the past month boosting hopes that the GOP be headed for victory in next year's Congressional elections, anew poll shows.
The GOP now has a real chance of taking control of both the House and the Senate, as rich, white and rural voters move away from the Democrats, the CNN/ORC International survey shows.
Now the question remains—can the party hold on to those new supporters in the 12 months running up to next year's crucial midterm vote?
A month ago the Republicans were reeling as the blame for the government shutdown in the bitter battle over the Affordable Care Act, was laid at the GOP's door. In a generic ballot last month asking voters to pick between Democrats and Republicans in their congressional district without naming candidates, the Democrats were chosen by 50% to 42%.
But things have turned around in the past four weeks as the extent of the problems with Obamacare have become clear. The new poll shows a staggering 10% reversal for the Democrats, and Republicans now lead 49% to 47%.
"It looks like the biggest shifts toward the Republicans came among white voters, higher-income Americans, and people who live in rural areas," 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,"
He added, however, that Democrats have gained strength in the past month among some of their "natural constituencies", including non-white voters and lower-income Americans.
As Newsmax revealed Monday, the national poll also showed that only four out of every 10 Americans believe Obama is managing the government "effectively" and that 53 percent of the nation does not believe that the president is "honest and trustworthy."
The 40 percent approval figure is a 12 percent freefall by Obama compared to a similar survey five months ago, while the 53% was the largest ever number of people in a CNN survey who said they thought that Obama was dishonest.
Republicans currently have a 17-seat advantage in the House while Democrats hold a 55-45 majority in the Senate. Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats are being contested in the midterms — 33 scheduled along with special elections in South Carolina and Hawaii — giving Republicans another opportunity to wrest the upper chamber away from the Democrats for the first time since 2006.
Earlier this month a survey by Quinnipiac University showed that Obama's approval rating was at its lowest level, with just 39 percent, since he entered the White House in 2009. A majority also said he was not honest and trustworthy.
CNN says its generic polls are often used as an indication of whether Republicans or Democrats are likely to take control in Congress. But CNN polling chief Holland hastens to point out that results can also change dramatically in the next 12.
"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 a 63-seat pickup," he said.
The president, however, could take an been bigger hit in the next approval survey because he's now under fire from Republicans and people in his own party for the controversial six-month deal with Iran to limit its nuclear capability in return for easing sanctions.
The phone poll was conducted November 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans, including 749 registered voters, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.