Voters Split On ObamaCare Ruling, Oppose Efforts To Repeal The Law
A new pair of polls continues what we’ve seen over the past several days, namely that the American public is rather divided over the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act, but they also suggest that voters are ready to move on from the health care wars:
CNN’s new poll finds Americans split on whether they approve of the Supreme Court decision, 50-49. Moderates agree with it, 54-45, but independents tilt against it, 47-52.
Support rises — as it does in other polls — when you ask about the bill’s provisions. The largest group of all, 43 percent, supports “most” of the provisions in the bill, and a total of 52 percent support most or all of the bill’s provisions, versus only 47 percent who oppose most or all of them. Fifty-nine percent of moderates support most or all the provisions. And get this: even though independents tilt against the SCOTUS decision, they support the bill’s provisions, 51-48.
Obamacare foes will note that Americans would rather repeal all the bill’s provisions than keep all of them, 51-47; independents agree, 56-42. But remember, polls that only give you a choice between total repeal and keeping all of the the law tend to produce findings that favor the former. If you portray the situation more accurately by presenting a range of options — full repeal, repealing only parts, keeping the bill as is, expanding it — suddenly support for full repeal is far lower, as Gallup found on Friday. This dynamic is reinforced by CNN’s finding that majorities — including among independents — favor most or all the provisions.
Meanwhile, the new Kaiser poll finds that opinion on SCOTUS decision is roughly split, at 47-43.
But it also finds — and this one is key — that 56 percent of Americans, and 51 percent of independents, want the law’s opponents to stop trying to block implementation and move on to other problems. Meanwhile, a big majority of Republicans, 69 percent, want efforts to stop the law to continue. Only 41 percent of independents agree.
That last part is key, I think, because it suggests that the GOP will be miscalculating if it makes the repeal of the PPACA a major part of the fall campaign. It’s an issue that quite obviously rallies the base, but this poll suggests that it’s not one that resonates with voters as a whole, and especially not with Independents. It may be that, for these voters, the ruling from the Supreme Court is seen as some kind of finality in the war that has been fought over this issue since 2009, and they now want to see politicians move on to other issues. It’s not directly polled, but I would suspect that, even today, the economy and jobs remain far more important to voters than the fate of the PPACA.
At the same time, there’ s a third poll out there that makes one wonder just how much the public knows about what the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. Alexander Burns points to a new Pew Research Center poll that seems to indicate that a lot of them are confused:
The public has long been divided in its opinions about the 2010 health care law. There is now a similar division of opinion over last week’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the law – 40% say they disapprove of the decision, while 36% approve and nearly a quarter (24%) offer no opinion.
Despite extensive public interest in the court’s ruling, just 55% of the public knows that the Supreme Court upheld most of the health care law’s provisions; 45% say either that the court rejected most provisions (15%) or do not know what the court did (30%). Among those aware that the court upheld most of the law, 50% approve of the decision while 42% disapprove.
Given the fact that the decision came down as we were heading into a holiday week, it’s perhaps understandable that some people aren’t fully aware of what happened. However, this may also be a sign that voters aren’t really paying much attention to the issue because they have other, more pressing concerns. In other words, it’s still the economy, stupid.
Update: A new ABC News/Washington Post poll is consistent with what we’ve seen since the weekend.