CNN Poll: Democratic advantage narrows in 2018

As the midterm election year begins, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS finds the Democratic advantage on a generic con...

Posted: Jan 22, 2018 12:51 AM
Updated: Jan 22, 2018 12:51 AM

As the midterm election year begins, a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS finds the Democratic advantage on a generic congressional ballot has tightened to a narrow 5 points among registered voters, but those voters who say they are most enthusiastic about turning out to vote this fall favor Democrats by a wide 15-point margin.

The new poll's 49% Democrat to 44% Republican margin among registered voters is almost identical to Democrats' standing in January of 2006, the last midterm election year in which they made significant gains in the House of Representatives.

52% of voters say they're more likely to back a candidate who opposes Trump

Democratic advantage now mirrors their edge in January 2006

Liberal Democrats most enthusiastic about voting this year

But it represents a large shift from CNN polls conducted in the past three months, in which Democrats held double-digit advantages over the Republicans. Preferences among all adults have shifted less dramatically, but are also tighter than last fall, with Democrats currently 10 points ahead of Republicans among all Americans.

Enthusiasm about voting in this year's contests has grown as the calendar page has turned, with a spike among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents from 32% feeling extremely or very enthusiastic about casting a ballot in December to 43% saying the same now. Democrats still hold an advantage in enthusiasm, however, with 51% saying they are that enthusiastic about voting in this year's midterm elections.

Enthusiasm for this year's contests peaks among liberal Democrats, 62% of whom say they are deeply energized about voting. Among conservative Republicans, just 46% say the same.

That disparity is fueling the Democrats' much wider edge on the generic ballot among enthusiastic voters. Among those voters who call themselves extremely or very enthusiastic about casting a ballot, 56% favor the Democratic candidate in their district, while 41% favor the Republican. Republicans hold a 5-point edge among those voters who rate themselves somewhat enthusiastic or less.

The tightened race among voters more broadly reflects shifts among independent voters in the last month, who broke heavily in Democrats' favor on the generic ballot in a December poll conducted amid Republican efforts to pass an unpopular tax bill. In the new poll, independents have grown more positive toward Donald Trump, and now split almost evenly on the generic ballot: 45% for the Republican in their district to 42% for the Democrat.

Beyond these basic partisan dynamics, the poll finds a majority of voters more apt to back a candidate for Congress who opposes President Trump (52%), with just 41% saying they prefer a candidate who'll back the President. That's shifted some in the President's favor since November, as his approval rating has risen. But the current divide mirrors the public's preference in early 2006, when 52% said they preferred a candidate who would oppose George W. Bush and 39% wanted a candidate who would back him.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS January 14-18 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. No interviewing was completed on January 16 due to weather conditions at call center locations. Results for all adults have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points; it is 3.8 points for registered voters.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Johnson1092106
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 33915

Reported Deaths: 2098
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5566253
Cuyahoga4211226
Marion264225
Hamilton2555135
Lucas2178240
Pickaway204836
Mahoning1397173
Summit1335172
Butler84728
Stark70591
Columbiana68451
Lorain66759
Montgomery63717
Trumbull55147
Belmont41212
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Warren35119
Tuscarawas3373
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Portage31857
Medina31322
Delaware31013
Lake29012
Wood28246
Geauga27231
Wayne26049
Fairfield2515
Clark2345
Licking22210
Allen20632
Clermont2025
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Richland1933
Erie1656
Darke16221
Madison1487
Washington11819
Crawford1103
Morrow1041
Greene1015
Ottawa9312
Putnam8814
Monroe7512
Sandusky7211
Hocking694
Ross672
Jefferson662
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Huron561
Williams511
Hancock512
Union491
Muskingum480
Clinton430
Hardin420
Shelby403
Fayette390
Wyandot382
Logan370
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Preble331
Carroll303
Lawrence290
Holmes291
Brown281
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Highland221
Seneca202
Vinton192
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Perry181
Henry150
Scioto150
Jackson130
Paulding130
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Van Wert60
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Meigs60
Noble50
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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