Barack Obama’s woes on ObamaCare continue to worsen, as Rasmussen now puts support at its lowest point of the year. Only 41% favor the health-care reform plans in Congress now, while a steady 56% oppose them. Seniors hate the idea, and independents have almost disappeared from Obama’s flank on this issue:
Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.
Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed. The intensity gap among seniors is significant. Only 16% of the over-65 crowd Strongly Favors the legislation while 46% are Strongly Opposed.
For the first time ever, a slight plurality of voters now express doubt that the legislation will become law this year. Forty-six percent (46%) say passage is likely while 47% say it is not. Those figures include 18% who say passage is Very Likely and 15% who say it is Not at All Likely. Sixty percent (60%) are less certain.
If Democrats still believe that the anger during the August recess in town-hall meetings was inauthentic, their own polling numbers will shock them:
The health care debate has produced a difficult political environment for Democrats. Several incumbent Democratic senators currently are behind in their reelection bids including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, Chris Dodd in Connecticut and Michael Bennet in Colorado. Republicans appear to have a better shot than expected at hanging on to the New Hampshire Senate seat, and GOP incumbents lead in both North Carolina and Iowa. The races for soon-to-be-vacant Senate seats in Missouri and Ohio are neck-and-neck, and longtime incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer polls under 50% against two potential 2010 challengers in California. Appointed Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand holds a very narrow lead over former Governor George Pataki in a hypothetical match-up for New York State’s 2010 Senate race.
If the signs point to a midterm debacle for Democrats, no one can say they weren’t warned. Two demographic factors will come into play a year from now: seniors and independents. In 2008, Democrats got enough of the youth vote to limit any skepticism from older voters, and independents flocked to Barack Obama. On this issue, the Democrats’ signature domestic policy, both seniors and independents have fled their coalition.
Independents now oppose ObamaCare by almost than 3-1, 72%-26%, which is almost the same as the Republican split at 79%-19%. More tellingly, a majority of independents (52%) strongly oppose it. Fifty-nine percent of seniors oppose ObamaCare, with the aforementioned 46% strongly opposing and only 16% strongly supporting it. But the news gets even worse in the preceding age demographics, with majorities in opposition among voters in their 30s (57%), 40s (65%), and 50-64 (58%). Among the 40s, a majority are strongly opposed (54%).
Where will Democrats get their support in 2010? The only age demographic supporting ObamaCare at all is the 18-29 year olds, who are rather poor at showing up for elections. In a midterm, that will be even more the case, especially without a charismatic presidential candidate promising Hope and Change at the top of the ticket. When Democrats run for Congress in the midterms on ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and the stimulus package, they may have most of the party faithful behind them — but no one else.