GOP surges ahead in generic congressional ballot

A new CNN poll shows Republicans vaulting into the lead in the generic congressional ballot. By 49-47, voters now favor the GOP in House races.

Democrats led by 8 points last month.

The 10-point swing follows a political uproar over Obamacare, which included the botched rollout of and controversy over insurance policy cancelations due primarily to the new health law.

The turnaround in the CNN/ORC poll follows similar shifts in recent national surveys from Quinnipiac University and Fox News.

At a news conference two weeks ago, President Barack Obama acknowledged that problems plaguing the startup of the new healthcare law could hurt Democrats.

"There is no doubt that our failure to rollout the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin," Obama said.

The CNN/ORC poll, released as the President makes a West Coast campaign fundraising swing on behalf of fellow Democrats, indicates both parties making gains within their base.

"It looks like the biggest shifts toward the Republicans came among white voters, higher-income Americans, and people who live in rural areas, while Democrats have gained strength in the past month among some of their natural constituencies, such as non-white voters and lower-income Americans," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"If those patterns persist into 2014, it may indicate that Obamacare is popular among those who it was designed to help the most, but unpopular among the larger group of voters who are personally less concerned about health insurance and health care," Holland said.

So in the end, it will depend on who comes out to vote in 2014. Without Obama on the ballot, Democrats are not going to get the minority turnout they got in 2012. Falloff on the GOP side will be less, given that Republican constituencies and center-right independents will be hit hardest by Obamacare. Angry people are far likelier to vote than satisfied people.

The key is the Senate, of course, and Republicans have to worry about 2 seats they currently hold that may flip. Kentucky and Georgia are going to be very tough races for the GOP to win, no matter who the nominee. In a wave election, they probably keep both seats. Anything less and it will be an uphill climb to win the net 6 races they need to take control.

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