Health Care “Reform” in Western States

With the health care legislation signed by the President yesterday, did Democrats seal their fate in Western states?

Prior to the signing, there were already signs of serious trouble for Democrats in Western states. Some key numbers from our March mid-March NBC/Wall Street Journal survey (March 11, 13-14):

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters in the West disapprove of the job President Obama is doing. In just the key “new Southwest” states of Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, Obama’s approval rating reflects his mixed national numbers at 48% approve/47% disapprove.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of voters view the Democratic Party negatively compared to 44% who view the Republican Party negatively.

By a 56%-34% margin, voters prefer a Republican-controlled Congress in Western states. In the new Southwest states, voters similarly prefer a Republican Congress — 53% Republican control / 38% Democrat control.

And with yesterday’s signing of health care reform push Democrats into a critical care situation in the West? In the same NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, just 36% felt the Obama health plan was a good idea while a majority (53%) said the plan was a bad idea. In fact, 54% felt that it would be better to keep our current health care system rather than to pass the Obama health care plan.

The health care reform debate and the signing today appears to have contributed to an erosion of Democrat support in Western states. Will the self-inflicted injuries continue? As critical debates over immigration reform and cap and trade loom on the horizon, Democrats stand to lose considerable ground in the West in 2010.

Public Opinion Strategies