Five Key Data Points: Health Care & the 2014 Mid-Term Elections
  1. Health care is second only to the economy and jobs as a vote issue for 2014 (Economy and Jobs – 55{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}, Health Care – 31{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).
  2. This survey tells us 2014 could be shaping up to be a Republican year.  When voters were asked which party they want to control Congress after this year’s elections, a Republican Controlled Congress has the net advantage (+1).
  3. The health care law is an issue of personal importance to voters (7.0 mean score on 1-10 scale, 51{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of voters rating it an 8-10).
    • Voters were asked:  “Thinking again about all of the issues in this year’s elections, how important is the health care law to you personally?  Please use a one to ten scale, with one meaning not at all important and ten meaning very important.”
    • Voter groups rating the law of most personal importance tend to be:
      • Older voters (age 55+)
      • Both Strong Republicans and Strong Democrats
      • Tea Party Supporters
      • African Americans
      • Voters who self-report being in “fair/poor” health
      • Voters who drop in-and-out of coverage
  4. Voters continue to have an initial negative reaction to the health care law with greater opposition to the health care law than support (34{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} support/45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} oppose/20{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} no opinion).  There is strong polarization looking at intensity, with 36{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of voters saying they “strongly oppose” the law and 23{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of voters saying they “strongly support” the law.  In addition:
    • Nearly eight out of ten Republicans (79{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) and half of Independents oppose the law (50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}), while majorities of Democrats are supportive (61{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).
    • Those voters who are uninsured or who drop in-and-out of coverage are opposed to the law (Uninsured – 49{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} oppose/23{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} support, Drop in-and-out of coverage – 54{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} oppose/28{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} support).
  5. Voters report that a candidate’s position on the health care law will be a factor in determining how they will vote (9{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} The most important factor, 51{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Major factor, 29{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Minor factor, 10{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Not an important factor at all).
    • This will be a challenge for Democratic candidates this cycle.  Voters who say a candidate’s position on the law will be a greater factor in determining how they vote are more opposed to the law.

table 1

Methodology: 

Public Opinion Strategies and Peter Hart conducted a national telephone survey among N=800 registered voters from February 16-20, 2014.  MOE = +3.46{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}.

Data from this survey was presented at AHIP’s National Health Policy Forum on March 6th, 2014.

(Please note this blog post does not reflect the opinions of either AHIP or Peter Hart)

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