Poll: Voters Prefer Republican Candidates By Wide Margin

Posted: May 19, 2014 11:35 AM
Poll: Voters Prefer Republican Candidates By Wide Margin

A new Politico poll finds less than six months before the 2014 congressional midterm elections voters strongly prefer Republican candidates (41 percent) over Democratic candidates (34 percent):

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The D/R/I split is 34/39/26. As a point of reference, exit polls evinced that in 2010 the sample breakdown was D+0. So since enthusiasm levels are sharply down from four years ago, it’s fair to assume this sample is overly skewed in favor of Republicans. This is also perhaps why the survey shows a majority of respondents oppose decriminalizing marijuana (56 percent) and gay marriage (52 percent); most if not every poll we’ve seen recently shows these trends reversed.

Nevertheless, there are two other interesting tidbits to consider: First, the president’s approval numbers are foundering (40/59) in battleground states. And second, the Affordable Care Act is almost certainly going to impact how the public votes:

But none of those issues comes close to approaching health care as a major concern for midterm voters. Nearly nine in 10 respondents said that the health care law would be important to determining their vote, including 49 percent who said it would be very important.

Again, this is one of the few surveys we’ve seen in which more Republicans participated than Democrats, in part because the survey wasn't taken from a national sample. (Residents from states with solidly blue electorates, for example, did not participate). Nonetheless, 48 percent of respondents want Obamacare totally repealed whereas just 35 percent say they want to keep and make changes to it (16 percent think it’s fine as is). Opposition to Obamacare, then, is as strong as it's ever been, especially in battleground states where Republicans are hoping and expecting to pickup seats. This can't be welcome news for Democrats, even if the sample breakdown unrealistically benefits the GOP.