CNN poll: Dems have favorable climate

Four weeks out from Election Day, Democrats remain well ahead of Republicans in a generic ballot matchup, with 54% of likely voters saying they support the Democrat in their district and 41% backing a Republican, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS. CNN's John King reports.

Posted: Oct 10, 2018 4:04 PM
Updated: Oct 10, 2018 4:26 PM

Four weeks out from Election Day, Democrats remain well ahead of Republicans in a generic ballot matchup, with 54% of likely voters saying they support the Democrat in their district and 41% backing a Republican, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

This is the widest margin of support for Democrats in a midterm cycle since 2006, when at this point, the party held a whopping 21-point lead over Republicans among likely voters. That's also when Democrats seized control of the House from Republicans, making Nancy Pelosi speaker until 2011.

This year, Democrats' enthusiasm about their congressional vote has increased and 62% now say they're extremely or very enthusiastic to vote, up seven points since September among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Among Republicans and Republican leaning independents, enthusiasm has remained relatively steady, going from 50% in September to 52% in the most recent poll.

Democratic enthusiasm this year is more intense than it has been in previous midterm cycles, which typically engage voters less than presidential years. The 40% who call themselves "extremely enthusiastic" is the highest share to say so in a midterm election cycle since CNN first asked the question in 2009.

In fact, Democrats' enthusiasm today more closely resembles the 2008 presidential election. Just before President Barack Obama was elected, 45% of Democrats and Democratic-leaners said they were extremely enthusiastic about voting that November. In 2008, Democrats won eight seats in the Senate and 21 in the House, as well as a victory in the presidency.

Strong support for Democrats among women

Women's support for Democratic candidates remains extremely strong; 63% of women say they'll vote for the Democrat and only a third say they'll vote for the Republican. Men are more closely divided, but tilt in the opposite direction, with half backing the Republican and 45% behind the Democrat.

If women were to vote as the likely voter number suggests, it would be Democrats strongest performance in the House race in the history of modern exit polling (back to 1976). The previous record for women voting Democratic was in 1982, when Democrats got the nod of 58% of women voters.

Women are not significantly more enthusiastic to vote than men: 57% are extremely or very enthusiastic compared to 53% of men. This is, however, a shift from what we usually see in a midterm election year. In 2010 at this point, 46% of women voters were enthusiastic about voting in the midterm election vs. 54% of men. In 2014, a very low turnout year, 32% of men were enthusiastic compared to 28% of women.

Republicans are winning the expectations game

But for all the good signs in this poll for Democrats, they have not made gains in the expectations game. Half of Americans (50%) say they expect Republicans to remain in control of Congress after the elections, while just a third think Democrats will win control (34%), down from 40% who thought they'd take over Congress in an August survey.

On balance, more say the country would be better off if the Democrats take control of Congress (38%) than say it would be worse off (32%). But that gap has narrowed since September, when 40% thought the country would be better off under Democratic control and 28% said it would be worse off. About a quarter in both polls said it didn't make a difference.

Either way, Americans aren't much impressed by Congress as it is: Just 17% say they approve of the way Congress is handling its job, the worst rating (by one point) of Donald Trump's presidency.

When asked which party would handle important issues better, Democrats hold the edge on two of three critical campaign issues. Americans largely trust Democrats over Republicans on handling health care, 54% to 36%, and immigration, 49% to 42%. Republicans have the edge on the economy -- 48% favor them on that issue vs. 42% who prefer the Democrats.

Beyond the big three, Republicans have an advantage on national security (50% say Republicans would handle it better, compared to 39% who prefer Democrats). Democrats hold the advantage on handling issues of sexual misconduct (51% to 30%) and the investigation into Russian meddling in the US election (50% to 34%). On the federal budget and gun policy, Americans split between the two parties. On gun policy, that's a shift away from Democrats, who held a 48% to 40% advantage in a March CNN poll.

Both Democratic and Republican Party favorability ratings have stayed about the same since May. In the new poll, 46% have a positive view of the Democratic Party and 45% have a negative one. Republicans fare a little worse, with 40% holding a favorable view and 52% thinking of them unfavorably.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS October 4 through 7 among a random national sample of 1,009 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Lake3876207
Allen181071
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Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
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Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
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Morgan28626
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Sullivan371
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Owen341
Brown331
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Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37758

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6323295
Cuyahoga4789265
Hamilton2811171
Marion268832
Lucas2329263
Pickaway209938
Summit1529181
Mahoning1486191
Butler97532
Columbiana89453
Stark803102
Montgomery73417
Lorain73061
Trumbull60052
Belmont44915
Warren40721
Medina37624
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Ashtabula36938
Miami36730
Delaware36014
Portage33557
Lake32512
Clark3237
Fairfield3188
Wood30649
Geauga30334
Wayne29651
Licking27110
Mercer2278
Richland2224
Allen22133
Clermont2195
Darke19023
Erie18416
Madison1647
Washington11819
Crawford1184
Morrow1081
Ottawa10717
Greene1065
Putnam9514
Sandusky9112
Monroe8015
Auglaize773
Hardin730
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Huron611
Williams581
Holmes573
Union561
Muskingum561
Hancock531
Coshocton480
Wyandot482
Clinton471
Shelby473
Fulton450
Logan430
Fayette410
Preble391
Guernsey382
Carroll353
Defiance342
Brown311
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Highland291
Champaign281
Seneca262
Knox251
Ashland230
Vinton212
Perry191
Athens181
Scioto180
Henry170
Jackson150
Paulding140
Adams111
Harrison100
Pike90
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Van Wert70
Meigs60
Noble60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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