A pre-Christmas CNN/ORC poll conducted from December 16-19 reveals that the GOP now has a growing lead in the 2014 Congressional elections. The GOP received 49% of the votes in the poll, while the Democrats sank to 44%. A CNN poll a month earlier showed the GOP with 49%, the Democrats 47%. Two months ago, The Democrats had a 50%-42% advantage.
The primary reason identified for the slippage of the Democrats is the public’s reaction to the implementation of ObamaCare. While the poll two months ago apparently reflected the public’s disaffection for the government shutdown, the botched rollout of Obamacare and the public’s growing awareness of its deleterious effects on consumers have broadly overshadowed other issues. 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.
Two powerful indicators that are heartening for the GOP are the indifference of Democrats regarding the 2014 election and the hostility of voters toward Barack Obama. Although only 36% of GOP voters say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in 2014, only 22% of Democratic voters feel the same way. A majority of voters, 55%, said they were more likely to vote for a candidate for Conress if they opposed Obama rather than supported him.
The sea change in attitude is occurring among men; according to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, who stated, “Virtually all the movement toward the GOP has come among men. 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.”
But Holland added, “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. 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.”
Yet Holland acknowledged that the numbers against Obama don’t bode well for the Democrats in 2014, saying, “Those kind of numbers spelled early trouble for the Democrats before the 1994 and 2010 midterms, and for the GOP before the 2006 elections.”