Poll Finds Favorable Factors for Republicans Ahead of 2014 Elections

House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) accompanied by fellow GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) / AP


The 2014 midterm elections will likely favor Republicans due to voters’ disapproval of Obamacare and the president’s job performance, according to a new poll released Thursday.

Democracy Corps conducted the survey for NPR and found that six factors are creating a favorable political environment for Republicans in the upcoming election:

1. The midterm election in the sixth year of a president's term has been bad news for the party controlling the White House for a century, and this year looks like no exception. (The one time the pattern did not hold was 1998 when Bill Clinton enjoyed an approval rating in the mid 60s, far above Barack Obama's job approval today.) Obama fatigue will weigh on all Democratic candidates.

2. The demographics of midterm elections favor Republicans over Democrats. White and elderly voters constitute a larger share of midterm electorates, groups that typically favor Republican candidates.

3. Obamacare remains unpopular, especially among Independents who hold the balance of power in midterm elections.

4. President Obama's job approval remains stuck in the low to mid 40s.

5. The generic ballot—a preference for a Republican versus a Democratic candidate for Congress—is essentially even, which has historically been good for Republicans.

6. The Senate seats up in 2014 strongly favor Republicans. Only one Republican-held seat is in a blue state. Seven Democratic-held seats are up in red states that Romney carried in 2012, and another five Democratic-held seats are in purple or swing states. If Republicans win half of those twelve Democratic-held seats, they will take over the Senate, assuming they hold all the Republican seats.

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