By Jeffrey H. Anderson
A new poll from Public Opinion Strategies, commissioned by Independent Women’s Voice, finds that people who care about the issue of Obamacare really don’t like Obamacare. On the flip side, people who like Obamacare really don’t care about it very much. That’s a bad combination for pro-Obamacare candidates.
The poll found that likely voters in battleground districts who consider Obamacare to be the “most important” issue in the upcoming election oppose it by the overwhelming tally of 70 to 30 percent (see slide 9). Likely voters who consider Obamacare to be a “very important” issue (but not the “most important” one) oppose it by more than 2 to 1 — 67 to 32 percent. Those who consider it to be “somewhat important” somewhat like it — but still oppose it by 51 to 47 percent. And those who consider it to be “not at all important” love it — favoring it by 70 to 17 percent.
In all, the 80 percent of likely voters in battleground districts who consider the issue of Obamacare to be at least “somewhat” important oppose it by the tally of 61 to 37 percent. The 20 percent who consider it to be either “not that important” or “not at all important” support it by the tally of 65 to 27 percent.
Wonder why you aren’t seeing many pro-Obamacare ads from pro-Obamacare candidates?
When likely voters who don’t like Obamacare were asked to give open-ended responses as to why they don’t like it, their most common answer (29 percent) was that it raises people’s health costs or premiums. Their second-most-common answer (20 percent) was that it involves undue government intrusion or coercion and therefore undermines freedom.
The poll also found that most people (58 percent) have either been personally affected by Obamacare or else have a family member or friend who has been. By an almost 2-1 margin, such people said Obamacare’s effect on the person (or persons) in question has been “very negative” (46 percent) rather than “very positive” (24 percent).
Finally, the poll found a great deal of support for a conservative alternative to Obamacare — and for repealing Obamacare if such an alternative is on the table. It asked whether likely voters support or oppose repealing Obamacare “and replacing it with a system in which patients and their doctors, not government bureaucrats, are in control of their choices.” By the tally of 68 to 27 percent, respondents said they’d support repealing Obamacare and replacing in that vein. Similarly, the poll asked whether likely voters support or oppose repealing Obamacare “and replacing it with a market-based system in which health insurance companies have to compete for business and individuals can shop for the policies they want at the best possible price.” By the tally of 71 to 27 percent, respondents said they support repeal and replace in that context.
All of this suggests that even long-shot Republican Senate candidates who frame the election as a referendum on Obamacare and are willing to advance an alternative have a decent shot at upsetting their Democratic opponents — especially those opponents who actually voted for Obamacare and now get to face the voters for the first time since then.