Pew Poll: Most Republicans Just Itching for November

Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 06:36 PM

By Cathy Burke

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More Republicans than Democrats are looking forward to this fall's midterm elections, a new survey released Tuesday shows, as GOP election strategy crystallizes over dissatisfaction with Obamacare.

The Pew Research Center poll found that 63 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats said they're anticipating the midterms, a gap similar to that of 2010, when it was a 60-48 split of Republicans versus Democrats looking forward to those elections.

The percentage of the general public's anticipation for the fall elections was 51 percent, little changed from the 50 percent who said the same thing in the January 2010 Pew survey. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said they were not looking forward to the elections, the poll showed.

Last month, a Pew Research survey found that 53 percent of Republican and GOP-leaning voters were "very enthusiastic" about the midterms, compared with 47 percent of Democrats and Democratic leaners.

The survey results came as the Republican National Committee made its midterm election strategy clear Tuesday.

"Obamacare is going to be the issue in 2014," Chairman Reince Priebus said in unveiling an ad campaign running in 40 media markets that will target incumbent senators who supported the Affordable Care Act. "The law stinks, and it's a disaster. It's not possible for this not to be the No. 1 issue in the 2014 elections."

In the latest Pew survey, conducted Jan. 2-5, politics paled in comparison to Americans' enthusiasm for two big sports events next month: the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and pro football's Super Bowl championship game.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said they were looking forward to the Olympics, while 42 percent were not. Fifty-five percent also are looking forward to the Super Bowl.

Other upcoming events drew far less interest: 24 percent said they were looking forward to the Hollywood's Academy Awards — with Democrats more likely to be excited about them than Republicans, 36 percent versus 20 percent, the poll showed. Twenty-two percent are anticipating the World Cup soccer tournament this summer, Pew found.

Almost a third of Americans watched the Obamacare news as the new law went into effect Jan. 1, the survey showed, with 30 percent of adults closely following those events last week, the suvey showed.

Twenty-nine percent closely followed news about the economy, the survey showed.

Other news stories last week attracted less interest, the survey found; 16 percent closely followed news about recreational marijuana shops opening in Colorado: 13 percent watched news about a research ship trapped in ice off Antarctica; and 11 percent followed violence in Syria or the two terror bombings that struck Russia, the survey found.

The survey's margin of error was plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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