Obamacare struggles give GOP lead on generic Congressional ballot

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, November 26, 2013

The nebula that is the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has not only resulted in the American people doubting the Democrats’ ability to lead in Washington, but has put Republicans in even better electoral shape heading into 2014.

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll released Tuesday, the GOP is now ahead on the generic Congressional ballot by two points – a major feat considering just a month ago in the days immediately after the 16-day government shutdown, the GOP trailed the Democrats by 8 points. Studies done by Quinnipiac University and Fox News in the past few weeks have also confirmed the shift.

Moreover, as The Washington Post notes, generic ballots tend to skew a few points Democratic, which means that the GOP’s lead on the generic ballot nationwide could be even higher than that.

The poll did show, however, that both parties gained ground among their individual bases.

“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,” he added.

While Republicans still have an uphill battle headed into the new year, the news does bode well for the party’s chances of gaining ground in 2014 and, ultimately, 2016. The Democrats’ woes over Obamacare aren’t likely to go away anytime soon, and coupled with the fact that the president’s party typically loses seats during a midterm election, this poll is just further proof that Obama and co. has its work cut out for them.

CNN/ORC International conducted a telephone study of 843 adult Americans, including 749 registered voters, nationwide from November 18-20, 2013. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3.5 percentage points at a 95 percent level of confidence. 

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