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Poll: Democrats lead GOP by double digits

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A CNN poll released Wednesday may continue the anxiety for the GOP, showing Democrats with a 14-point advantage over Republicans among registered voters asked their preferences in this year's midterm elections.

The poll, conducted for CNN by Opinion Research Corp., found that 52 percent of respondents who were registered voters said they were leaning toward voting for a Democrat, while 38 percent said they were leaning toward a Republican.

Ten percent said they didn't know how they would vote or that they would choose a candidate not from the two major parties. (Watch what is pulling down the president's approval rating -- 2:07)

Among all Americans, the poll found 50 percent leaning toward Democrats, 37 leaning toward the Republicans and 3 percent intending to vote for non-majority candidates. Ten percent had no opinion

The poll, based on telephone interviews with 1,021 adult Americans between Friday and Sunday, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. (View the poll results -- PDF)

Republicans are suffering politically, the poll suggested, because nearly half of the Americans interviewed said they think the country is on the wrong track.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they believed things were going well and 53 percent said they felt things were going badly. Two percent had no opinion. The question had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

The figures are nearly reversed from what a similar CNN poll found in February, when 51 percent of respondents said they thought things were going well and 47 percent said things were going badly.

Republicans enjoy a 29-seat majority in the House and a 10-seat majority in the Senate, but political watchers say those majorities, especially the one in the House, may be threatened.

Democrats would need to pick up 15 seats to regain the House and six seats to take control of the Senate.

Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 3 Republican official in the House, told CNN he isn't worried about his party losing power.

"Between now and [the midterm elections], the Democrats are going to be forced to define what they're for," said Blunt, who is the majority whip.

"That's going to work to our advantage as it works to our advantage to have a chance to explain what we're for."

Congressional Republicans have also been weighed down by the public's low opinion of President Bush's job performance.

A CNN poll released Monday found Bush's approval rating was 34 percent -- an uptick of 2 percentage points from the most recent CNN poll in late April. (Full story)

The president's disapproval rating was 58 percent, down 2 points from the previous poll. (View Bush's latest approval numbers)

The poll, also done by Opinion Research Corp., was based on interviews of 1,021 adults. Both shifts are within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

More than half of those who disapproved of Bush's job performance -- 56 percent -- said the war in Iraq was the reason. (Read the full poll results -- PDF)

Thirteen percent said the recent increase in gas prices had fueled their displeasure. Twenty-six percent gave other reasons.

Because that question was asked only of those who disapproved, it had a different sampling error -- 4 percentage points.

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