CNN poll: Majority say midterms were repudiation of Republican policies

A majority of Americans say the 2018 midterms were mostly about the rejection of Republican policies, but De...

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 10:53 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 10:53 PM

A majority of Americans say the 2018 midterms were mostly about the rejection of Republican policies, but Democrats may have more of a mandate this time around than in past election cycles, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.

Less than half, 32%, say the election is more of a mandate for the Democrats. But the nearly one-third of Americans who see the election as a mandate outpaces the share who saw the election outcome that way in other recent elections where control of either the US Senate or the House of Representatives changed hands.

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Related: Full poll results

In 2014, 16% of Americans said the takeover of the US Senate by Republicans equaled a mandate. Similarly, in 2010, when tea party backlash to Democrats helped Republicans take the House, 17% called it a mandate for Republicans. In 2006, when fatigue and anger at the Iraq War helped Democrats take control of the House and the Senate, 27% called it a mandate for the party. In 1994, 18% saw the takeover led by Newt Gingrich and his Contract with America as a mandate for Republicans.

In the new poll, which was conducted by re-interviewing those who participated in a CNN poll conducted just before Election Day, 53% of Americans said the election results indicate a rejection of policy positions pushed by Republicans.

More than 6 in 10 say it will be good for the country that Democrats will be in charge of the US House, higher than in any of those midterms save 2006, when 67% considered the Democratic takeover of the House good for the country.

Despite divided control of the Senate and House, about half of Americans expect a more responsive Congress, and an optimistic 37% think it will get more done than the GOP-controlled Congress leaving office in January.

But few want to see Nancy Pelosi as the leader of the Democratic Party in the House -- 59% overall say they'd rather see another Democrat lead the party's caucus, and even among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, opinions on Pelosi are about evenly split, with 44% saying they'd like to see her in charge and 46% preferring another Democratic leader.

It also suggests that little has changed in perceptions of President Donald Trump or the state of the country in the wake of the election. Overall, 42% in the poll say they approve of the way the President is handling his job, a narrow increase from 39% who approved before Election Day. And 54% feel things in the country are going well, about even with the 55% who said so in the pre-election survey.

The survey finds a majority saying they trust the Democrats in Congress over Trump to deal with the major issues facing the country today, 55% to 38%, and that margin holds roughly steady across a range of critical issues, including health care (59% to 36%), immigration (58% to 39%), the Russia investigation (58% to 33%), gun policy and taxes (both 54% for the Democrats to 39% for Trump), and the federal budget deficit (52% to 39%). The one exception: the economy. On that issue, 48% say they trust Trump over the Democrats in Congress and 47% prefer the Democrats.

Immigration and health care stand clearly ahead of other issues as voters' top priorities for the new Congress, with 29% citing immigration when asked open-ended what they'd like to see as Congress's first priority come January, and 21% naming health care. Another 10% say the Mueller investigation is their first priority for Congress.

Still, both Republican and Democratic voters are mostly happy with the outcome of last week's midterm elections, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, but the election has done little to dampen the sense that the country's political divisions are deeper than they have been before.

Overall, 57% say they're mostly happy with the way this year's congressional elections, 34% are mostly disappointed. Those who said they backed the Democrat in their own congressional district were most pleased (64% said they were happy) but a majority who say they voted Republican also feel mostly happy (53%).

Related: Full poll results

Views of Trump divide perceptions of the outcome a bit more than House votes did: 66% of those who said before the election that they were casting a ballot to oppose the president were happy with the outcome, vs. 49% among those who said they were voting to express support for Trump.

Most don't think Trump ought to be impeached and removed from office. Fifty-five percent say they don't feel that way and 42% say that they do. About 6 in 10 say there isn't enough cause for the Congress to begin hearings into whether or not Trump should be impeached. And just 3% say impeachment is their top priority for the new Congress come January.

About half (49%) say they disapprove of the President firing Jeff Sessions as attorney general, while 44% approve. But most, 67%, say they think Sessions did the right thing by recusing himself from the Russia investigation, seemingly the President's biggest complaint about his former attorney general.

This CNN poll was conducted by SSRS by re-interviewing 677 adults who participated in a nationally representative pre-election survey. Those participating in the poll were originally interviewed from November 1 through 3 and callback interviews took place between November 8 and 12. Results for all respondents reached in the callback survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
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White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
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Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
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Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
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Starke227558
Fountain218347
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Fulton201542
Jay200832
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Perry186937
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1106796

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284601459
Cuyahoga1155792204
Hamilton812751245
Montgomery524631040
Summit48327999
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Butler38886603
Stark33275929
Lorain25631502
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Mahoning22327601
Lake21133385
Clermont20095252
Delaware18815135
Licking16643222
Fairfield16552204
Trumbull16520479
Medina15592270
Greene15246246
Clark14216306
Wood13276197
Portage13226214
Allen11904239
Richland11596211
Miami10832223
Wayne9112222
Columbiana9016230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8646122
Marion8633138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8049164
Ashtabula7136179
Hancock6995131
Ross6932161
Geauga6831150
Scioto6525104
Belmont6148174
Union583549
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5433125
Darke5414129
Seneca5342126
Washington5307109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443665
Ashland435097
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4031110
Brown401861
Logan387177
Preble3847103
Clinton378166
Ottawa372581
Highland359165
Williams347578
Champaign343558
Guernsey324153
Jackson317254
Perry297150
Morrow291240
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2697101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220062
Carroll196648
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135739
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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