Poll: Likely Voters Dislike Supreme Court PPACA Decision By Small Margin
Following up on the Gallup poll I took note of on Friday, Newsweek and The Daily Beast are out with a new poll of likely voters that shows a slight majority opposing the decision, however it doesn’t seem to have any real impact on their choice in the Presidential election:
Voters are reacting in broadly negative ways to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the legislation known as Obamacare, a new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll finds, with a majority disapproving of the ruling, fearing health-care costs and taxes will rise, and preferring Mitt Romney to President Obama on the issue
At the same time, voters scored the ruling a short-term political win for the president by a huge margin.
Overall, 50 percent of those polled said they disapprove of the court’s 5-4 decision, while 45 percent said they support it. Consistently, a majority of voters said that they oppose the individual mandate (53 percent); believe taxes will increase (52 percent); believe their personal health-care costs will increase (56 percent); and disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care in general (58 percent). Only 24 percent of those polled said that they believe the ruling will make the country better off.
Against Romney, Obama maintains a narrow lead in the presidential race, 47 percent to 44 percent. Twenty-one percent said that they were open to changing their mind. State-by-state polls are more useful in predicting the actual outcome of a presidential contest, but national horse-race numbers are something to talk about while the election is still months away. The president’s approval rating stands at 45 percent. Fifty-nine percent of poll respondents said they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction—down slightly from about a year ago, in May 2011, when 65 percent said the country was on the wrong track.
Even as those polled said that they prefer Romney to Obama on health care—as well as almost every other issue, with the exception of terrorism, foreign policy, and education—voters said that they trust Democrats more than Republicans overall on the major questions facing the nation, 37 percent to 32 percent.
One thing to note is the difference between this poll and polls taken before the Court ruled last Thursday. Just a few weeks ago, a CBS/New York Times poll [PDF] showed that 67% of adults wanted to see at least the mandate over turned and 41% wanted to see the entire law struck down. This was consistent with polling prior to oral argument in March which showed the exact same percentage wanting to see at least the mandate overturned. Now, it’s worth noting that these two polls were of “Adults” while the new poll is of “Likely Voters,” but in all honestly it seems unlikely that there would be a 17 point difference between the two distinct types of polling groups. Additionally, the Gallup poll on Friday showed American “Adults” nearly equally divided on the ruling, and that is clearly a significant difference from pre-decision polling of the same group.
This is, of course, a “flash” poll and numbers may change as people have more time to evaluate the decision over the next few weeks, and as politicians on both sides spin the outcome in the ways they see fit. At least immediately, though, it is beginning to look as though this may not be the political bonanza the GOP is expecting. Let’s wait and see what happens.