WSJ/NBC poll: Support for ObamaCare up several points since before shutdown

posted at 8:41 pm on October 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

I’m tempted to say that it’s just one poll, but on the ObamaCare question, it’s actually not. John McCormack of the Standard pointed out to me this afternoon that Rasmussen also spotted a small rise in O-Care’s popularity from the beginning of September, when it was at 41/52, to October 4-5, when it blipped up to 45/49. There’s an obvious explanation for that that’s unrelated to the shutdown: October 1, the day the government closed, was also the day that the ObamaCare exchanges officially opened. Despite Healthcare.gov being an abject clusterfark so far, ObamaCare itself may be enjoying a bit of a honeymoon period from media coverage about the uninsured being excited to sign up. But even if that’s what’s happening, it brings me back to the question in last night’s post. The Cruz strategy for defunding (or delaying) ObamaCare was, as I understood it, to stand firm even if it meant a shutdown and then wait for public opposition to the law to build to the point where O would have no choice but to cave. The only two major polls about the health-care law that have been taken after the shutdown, though, show its unpopularity decreasing. Where’s the populist groundswell that’s supposedly going to make Obama blink? Would five polls prove that the strategy wasn’t working? Ten? We know how this theory of populist revolt could be confirmed, but how could it be falsified?

There’s no sense blogging this in depth because any poll that’s highly damaging to one party or the other is apt to be dismissed by most members as skewed. You can read NBC’s write-up for the details if you’re interested or dive right into the crosstabs. Let me make just a few quick notes. One: If you’re curious about the sample — 43D/32R/19I — RCP’s elections guru Sean Trende tells me that that’s not implausible for a poll of adults, who skew more Democratic. If you want something more refined than that, here’s the result of the generic ballot question, which was conducted exclusively among registered voters. For my money, this is the single ugliest result from the poll:

gb

The GOP hasn’t been below 40 in four years, which was also the last time Democrats had a lead of as much as eight points. Doesn’t mean much long-term — a year after their last sub-40 poll performance, Republicans swamped Democrats in the midterms — but if you’re looking to take the public’s temperature on the shutdown, there’s a useful data point.

Two: Many more people claim to be affected by the current shutdown than did so in 1995. Whether that means anything in the voting booth, I don’t know, but it’s not a stat you want to see when your party’s taking the brunt of the discontent.

ws2

Three: The GOP is in fact taking the brunt of the discontent. That’s nothing new in light of other polls this week, but I wanted to flag this one just because of TNR’s piece the other day. Nate Cohn argued then that it was hard to say that either side was losing the shutdown fight given that Republicans weren’t even above 50 percent on the blame question. They are here, though:

bl

The WSJ actually has Obama’s job overall increasing slightly this month from 45/50 to 47/48. That’s implausible, but it’s much closer to the RCP poll average than the instantly famous AP poll the other day that had O at 37/53. As a point of contrast, Ted Cruz’s favorable rating here went from 10/12 last month to 14/28 now; that -14 spread is the same as Harry Reid’s. And that’s not the only new poll showing Cruz underwater. Gallup had him at +6 in June but at -10 today. Some of that is, of course, the product of public anger at Congress generally, not Cruz specifically. But again, if the goal here is a groundswell of public support for the “defund ObamaCare” movement, you wouldn’t expect its leader to see his numbers dropping if that groundswell was happening.

Fourth: The most revealing numbers in the whole poll might be the breakdown on ObamaCare’s popularity.

oc

Rarely in recent polling has strong support for the law crossed 30 percent; only after the big SCOTUS ruling on the mandate last year did the data cross the mark — until now. What’s happening, I assume, is that tea-party brinksmanship to defund the law is actually driving lukewarm liberals to support the law more strongly in the name of partisanship. Which would be fine if there was a corresponding swell in opposition, whether strong or tepid. But there isn’t. The number who think the law’s a bad idea and who strongly feel that way is actually down from where it was four months ago. Again, that may be due less to the shutdown than to the honeymoon period from the law’s rollout, but either way, the public’s not rising up. What’s the timeframe on when they should before this strategy is declared a fizzle? Exit quotation:


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test the posting roll over

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Wait for the widespread stickershock.

newportmike on October 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM

See you after midterms, in November 2014. You can gloat all about it, then.

listens2glenn on October 10, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Who can gloat over the democrats having complete control. One more thing…I bet you and the other fools in here will be back to say not running on tea party values is what lost it. Delusions at best. Limbaugh, Cruz, Lee and you people are whats wrong with republicans. Completely out of touch with the mainstream.

rubberneck on October 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM

odd

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM

rubberneck,

The “mainstream” will go over the “spillway” and we others will still be in the deal back in the eddies of the current lurking to pick up the deal once the fools spill over the dam with the inflation of the $ that now builds up to wash it all away.

Bye Bye see ya all.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

A little skepticism is always in order on polls. How are the samples weighed, how is polled and where, do the pollsters pick people who drool, was the poll taken outside the DNC headquarters. etc. I see NBC, whoever they’re paired with and I wonder.

arand on October 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Who can gloat over the democrats having complete control. One more thing…I bet you and the other fools in here will be back to say not running on tea party values is what lost it. Delusions at best. Limbaugh, Cruz, Lee and you people are whats wrong with republicans. Completely out of touch with the mainstream.

rubberneck on October 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Put the crack pipe down. You’ve lost it.

Anyone that thinks Democrats are going to pick up seats after a year of paying health insurance premiums or seeing their refund impacted is a fool.

ButterflyDragon on October 11, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Who can gloat over the democrats having complete control. One more thing…I bet you and the other fools in here will be back to say not running on tea party values is what lost it. Delusions at best. Limbaugh, Cruz, Lee and you people are whats wrong with republicans. Completely out of touch with the mainstream.

rubberneck on October 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Which is why the RINOs are whining about the 90 House seats controlled by we “out of touch” folks.

Keep in mind, rubberneck, we have absolutely nothing to lose. You and your fellow Obama RINOs already act like Democrats and vote like Democrats, so we might as well make it final and put Democrats in charge.

The reason you are screaming is that that tosses you, Boehner, Ryan, and the rest of you K Street parasites out onto the street with zero access to government, zero power, and zero money.

We lose nothing. If anything, we GAIN from having you and your fellow RINOs out, because then there are no more excuses.

northdallasthirty on October 11, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Look, this law is a disaster. But right now, millions of LIVs don’t know that and are still expecting great things any minute. Soon they will find out the truth, by which time there will be no shutdown for the DeMSM to hide behind.

I think any poll variation from the three year trend of massive unpopularity is just backlash against the media portrayal of mean Republicans who shut down the national parks etc.

But eventually, the public is going to find out that the mean Republicans were right. It’s a totally effed, baked in the cake, disaster. It’s nothing but bad news start to finish.

When that happens, the honeymoon period, if this is what is happening, will end.

The worst thing in the world for Dems is for Obamacare to roll out on schedule.

Missy on October 11, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Who can gloat over the democrats having complete control. One more thing…I bet you and the other fools in here will be back to say not running on tea party values is what lost it. Delusions at best. Limbaugh, Cruz, Lee and you people are whats wrong with republicans. Completely out of touch with the mainstream.

rubberneck on October 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM


Dimwit…look at about any economic issue and the TP is in line with America. You’re deluded.

CWchangedhisNicagain on October 11, 2013 at 7:24 PM

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