Obamacare a heavy burden for Democrats as implementation and 2014 elections loom

The data I’ve compiled and written about in previous posts (here, here, and here) help set the scene for the challenges this administration faces as it looks forward to the implementation of major provisions of the health care law (in three months) and the 2014 Congressional elections (in about 15 months).

The latest NBC-WSJ survey, conducted July 17-21, provides further evidence of a deeply disenchanted and divided public, putting Obama, Democrats, and this administration’s namesake law in a very precarious position.

The data suggest the electorate is fed up with Washington and as sour toward President Obama and his signature healthcare law today as it was just before the 2010 election.

    1. For the fourth track in a row, roughly twice as many Americans say the country is on the wrong track than who say we are heading in the right direction (29{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Right Direction – 61{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Wrong Track).
    2. The president’s overall job approval (45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Approve – 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Disapprove) is down seven points from the beginning of 2013 and is currently at its lowest point since late 2011.
    3. Congress’s approval rating at an all-time low (12{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Approve – 83{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Disapprove), with universal disapproval across the political spectrum. This follows devastating June Gallup data, which found confidence in Congress today lower than any other institution tested by Gallup since 1973.
    4. The poll finds a politically divided public and a public concerned about partisanship in the Nation’s Capital:
      • Voters are evenly divided when asked who they would prefer control Congress as a result of the 2014 elections (44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} GOP Controlled – 44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} Dem-Controlled).
      • Partisanship is the top reason respondents are unhappy with Washington (44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) ranking higher than neglect of the middle class (31{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).
      • A majority or plurality believe a partisan approach is being emphasized by the Republican Party (67{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}), Democratic Party (55{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) and by Barack Obama (48{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).

This poll has especially ominous data when it comes to base support for Obamacare:

  1. The percentage of those who strongly feel the law is a bad idea is over 40{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} for the second track in a row, and this percentage alone outnumbers those who say the law is a good idea.
    chart 1
    Looking inside the numbers, perhaps most devastating finding is that 48{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of uninsured adults, the people Obamacare is supposed to help the most, believe the law is a bad idea while only 28{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} say it is a good idea.
  2. The ACA is only supported by core Democratic sub-groups. However, support modestly slid on this track even among these sub-groups.
    chart 2
  3. Most Republican candidates in the 2014 election cycle will not pay a heavy political price for running against Obamacare.
    The sub-groups below that make up the traditional “middle” of the electorate all believe the healthcare law is a bad idea by large margins.
    Additionally, most groups either believe Republicans should continue to try to prevent the law from taking effect or are evenly split on whether that is the best course to take or whether Republicans should “stop trying to block” the law.
    chart 3

And the data suggests Obama will have short coat-tails for candidates running in 2014:

  1. In July, just 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of respondents who voted for Obama in 2012 feel the country is headed in the right direction, that’s down from 62{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}, based on the merged data from the first half of 2013.
  2. Obama Job disapproval among Independents is at 60{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}, matching the highest disapproval rating among this group (first reached in August 2010). As Robert Blizzard and Patrick Lanne have explained thoroughly in previous posts, presidential job approval has great consequence in federal and state mid-term elections.
  3. NBC-WSJ also asked an open-ended question in the July survey about why respondents approved or disapproved of the job Obama was doing. Surprisingly, more than four in ten (43{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) respondents mentioned the health care law as part of their open-ended answer. This included 42{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Republicans and 37{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Independents, who overwhelmingly had negative comments and 46{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Democrats, among whom about half said something negative and half said something positive about Obamacare.
  4. A majority (54{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) of voters who are “undecided” on which party they prefer to control Congress say they disapprove of the job Obama is doing as president. Across the merge data from 2010, just 47{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of “undecided” voters disapproved of the job Obama was doing as president.

Bottom Line

In the summer of 2010, it may have seemed the administration was exercising great political calculus, minimizing their political risk and exposure by implementing Obamacare piecemeal over several years, spanning at least the next two election cycles. Democratic candidates and incumbents (especially Obama) would have a job to complete, a promise to keep, and a service to deliver to the voter, at least for two elections.

That was the idea, but in the current political environment, it is more likely embattled Democrats will run from Obamacare rather than on it. With trust and confidence in the federal government and Congress at record lows, a shrinking base of public support for the law, and looming federal and state elections, there may not be a worse environment to try to implement Obamacare.

Similar Articles

  • Impeachment Fever Has Hit House Democrats
    read more

  • Public Opinion Strategies Congratulates Karen Handel on Winning GA-06
    read more

  • The Democrats’ Pivot
    read more

    read more

    read more

Public Opinion Strategies helped us to clarify what we wanted to learn and then conducted research and analysis that shed light even beyond the questions we set out to ask. They were very receptive to our suggestions, responsive to our queries, and flexible when we needed them to be.

Public Opinion Strategies has consistently offered unparalleled advice and spot-on polling that has shaped how and where we spent money and deploy key resources. Additionally, they have always been an excellent steward of limited campaign resources, ensuring we spend wisely and not a dollar more than necessary in order to get the information we need.

Robert Blizzard and Public Opinion Strategies did a great job for us throughout our successful campaign for Congress. Robert gave us accurate data, spot on analysis, and professional advice, all of which were essential to our victory.

Public Opinion Strategies is one of our go-to pollsters when it comes to testing public support for bond ballot measures and other initiative proposals. They are available to provide ongoing consultation with regard to crafting of ballot questions, public outreach messaging, and related efforts.

ACLI has worked with Public Opinion Strategies for decades, through several tough industry battles—often ones in which public opinion does not naturally fall on the side of insurers. Yet Bill and his team consistently provide invaluable strategic advice by refining our messages and helping us frame our issues in a way that makes them understandable and persuasive.

The data from Public Opinion Strategies provided important insight and informed our public awareness campaign. We sincerely appreciate their professionalism and expertise in this arena.

Nicole McCleskey and the team at Public Opinion Strategies have been invaluable to me, both during my campaigns and as Governor of the State of New Mexico. It’s not just the accuracy of their numbers, but guiding the overall strategy that makes them so valuable.

Public Opinion Strategies has been a part of our team in Missouri for more than a decade. With their data and guidance, Republicans here were able to attain a majority in the House in 2002 for the first time in fifty years, and we have been able to grow that majority to the point that we now have a record, veto-proof majority.

In my tenure at two leading business associations, facing huge and complex consumer issues, I have benefitted enormously from the objective advisory skills of Bill and his team. They do their homework, they are rigorous, dispassionate and thoughtful. Turning questions into answers is a clever tag, but it’s also an apt description of the professional talents of the firm.

I consider Public Opinion Strategies to be a part of our team. That is the way we have always worked. They have helped us to understand our needs and fashioned research solutions to meet those needs. They have helped us to meet killer deadlines by being flexible, executing rapidly, and insuring quality. Teamwork is the best way to describe it.

Accuracy, speed, and deep knowledge of key issues and public sentiment are the hallmarks of quality opinion research, and on these measures Public Opinion Strategies consistently delivers. I have had the pleasure of working with Public Opinion Strategies for more than 15 years on dozens of issues, and they are undoubtedly the gold standard.

Public Opinion Strategies’ track record of success and wealth of experience in political campaigns and issue advocacy are why they are one of the most trusted and well respected public opinion firms in Washington, D.C. Their insights and perspectives have helped to inform a wide array of public affairs activities across multiple industries.

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com