Poll: Voters split over Republicans, Democrats in 2014

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WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new poll released Wednesday indicates voters are divided on whether they’ll vote for Democratic or Republican House lawmakers in next year’s midterm elections.

According to the Quinnipiac University survey, 39% of voters say they would choose a Democrat in their congressional district if the election were held today, while another 39% say they would choose a Republican.

In a similar Quinnipiac survey released October 1, Democrats held a 43%-34% advantage over Republicans.

The change comes after gridlock in Congress forced a 16-day partial government shutdown last month, and as Democrats have played defense on the problematic launch of HealthCare.gov and initial promises that turned out to be inaccurate about the health care law.

In their effort to retake the House, Republicans are certain to make the Obamacare rollout a major attack point in 2014 elections nationwide, while Democrats have indicated their winning strategy will involve blaming Republicans for the shutdown.

According to the new poll, independent voters have shifted in favor of Republicans. On October 1, 32% supported Democrats while 30% backed Republicans. The new poll shows 37% support Republicans and 26% back Democrats.

Quinnipiac notes that voters still disapprove more of Republicans in Congress, 73%-20%, than they disapprove of Democrats, 62%-30%.

“In Washington today, it comes down to who the voters dislike the least,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “There are no heroes.”

Quinnipiac’s poll came after Gallup released a survey on Tuesday showing only 9% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. That’s the lowest congressional approval rating in the 39 years Gallup has asked that question.

Quinnipiac surveyed 2,545 registered voters nationwide by telephone from November 6-11. The sampling error is plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

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