New poll confirms: Obamacare debate definitely not “over”

posted at 12:01 pm on April 22, 2014 by Guy Benson

National Journal published two stories late last week that immediately rocketed ’round the lefty blogosphere.  The first argued that Obamacare was on a fabulous “winning streak;” the second followed up on the same theme, asserting that conservative critics of the law have sustained a credibility hit as a result of all this supposedly great news.  (Our own Ed Morrissey was even cited as an example hyperbolic overreach — and everyone knows Ed’s reputation is a reckless hothead who’s prone to wild exaggeration).  I responded to the latter piece yesterday at Townhall, addressing “correspondent” Lucia Graves’ arguments in some detail.  In doing so, I chose not to address some of her sloppiest claims, such as the notion that Obamacare opponents predicted that “nobody would enroll.”  The president, coincidentally, offered the exact same straw man analysis at his Thursday press conference.  Speaking of which, Obama’s central theme in the briefing room was that the national debate regarding Obamacare is now “over.”  Because he says so.  A new poll from Fox News indicates that voters disagree.  Note well that this nationwide survey was conducted in mid-April, two weeks after Obama first began spiking the enrollment football and reaping thinly-disguised “Obamacare comeback!” headlines in the media.  Winning streak:

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 10.24.16 AM

Stasis.  Another Obamacare-related question asked registered voters whether the law would be an significant factor in their 2014 voting decisions.  Nearly one in five said it would be the single biggest factor, with an additional 54 percent calling it an “important factor.”  Less than a quarter of respondents said Obamacare was either a small or non-factor to their vote.  A recent USA Today poll revealed that the more a given voter cares about the new law, the more likely he or she is to oppose it:

In the survey, taken after President Obama announced a surprising 7.1 million Americans had signed up for health care through the law’s exchanges, more than eight in 10 registered voters say a candidate’s stance on the law will be an important factor in determining their vote. A 54% majority call it very important. By 2-1, those who rate the issue as very important disapprove of the law.

The new Fox survey confirms those trends, almost to the decimal point.  Respondents also said they’re more likely to back a candidate who pledges to “fight against” Obamacare (53 percent) than “fight for” it (39 percent).  Among independents, that gap is a yawning 25 points.  How will Democrats spin that one?  So even as the president smugly decrees this issue settled, he’s discovering doesn’t have the power to decide such things.  In fact, his powers of persuasion on this issue breached the diminishing returns threshold long ago.  He is basically incapable of moving public opinion on Obamacare, thanks in large part to the one-two punch of a catastrophic roll-out, and “lie of the year-level” broken promises.  His advisers have been privately conceding this point, which renders the media’s “winning streak” narrative even more hacktastic:

In that sense, maybe the debate really is over — just not in the way Obama means. I’ll leave you with the New York Times fretting over Democrats’ “vexing” political dilemma:

When Franklin D. Roosevelt established Social Security, he created generations of loyal Democrats. When Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law, he built on that legacy, particularly with older Americans. And when George W. Bush instituted a new prescription drug benefit for Medicare, it helped reclaim elderly voters for Republicans. But President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the $1.4 trillion effort to extend health insurance to all Americans, is challenging the traditional calculus about government benefits and political impact. Even as Mr. Obama announced that eight million Americans had enrolled in the program and urged Democrats to embrace the law, those in his party are running from it rather than on it, while Republicans are prospering by demanding its repeal.

The story is partially premised on the idea that Obamacare supporters and opponents are roughly even in number, but the latter group is more energized, mobilized and likely to vote.  The last part certainly appears to be the case at the moment, but approval of the law isn’t split down the middle.  Perhaps the Times could consult polling (including its own) before baking faulty assumptions into its reporting.


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Indeed, Debbie Wasserman-Schmutz and witch Pelosi…

Plus, obama hates the middle class.

Schadenfreude on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I, for one, am glad someone finally pointed out Ed”s reckless and wild exaggerations. Just wait until the employer mandate kicks in.

John the Libertarian on April 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Look over there! Shiny!

Roy Rogers on April 22, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Indeed, Debbie Wasserman-Schmutz and witch Pelosi…

Plus, obama hates the middle class.

Schadenfreude on April 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

No surprise there. You can’t have a stagnant “recovery” like this drag on for 5 years and not see it take a toll on the middle and lower class. And it’s only going to continue and get worse as long as Obama and the Dems are running the show.

Doughboy on April 22, 2014 at 12:11 PM

. Just wait until the employer mandate kicks in.

John the Libertarian on April 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

And medicare advantage cuts,

jmtham156 on April 22, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Just as with Obama’s arrogant “I Won” comment in his first term he thought his “the debate is settled” statement would shut everyone up. Memo to Obama No we will not be quiet, no we will not accept that this is over it is far from over. No people aren’t lying who are being adversely affected by this horrible law. No we won’t shut up. Keep pushing us go ahead and see what happens.

neyney on April 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

The debate isn’t over?

But… but…but HE said so.

forheremenaremen on April 22, 2014 at 12:19 PM

The “Lie of the Year” is not so easily forgotten

Roy Rogers on April 22, 2014 at 12:23 PM

FDR and LBJ had an untapped reserve of national surplus to spend on vote buying, and that’s why their programs were relatively popular. Poor Obama had to work with what little money his wasteful predecessors in the office left him so he couldn’t buy enough happiness. That’s why O-Care is such a spectacular failure, and not because American public has somehow rejected his socialist idea.

Rix on April 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Oh NO !!

The science is settled

J_Crater on April 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

asserting that conservative critics of the law have sustained a credibility hit as a result of all this supposedly great news. (Our own Ed Morrissey was even cited as an example hyperbolic overreach

How can someone sustain a credibility hit over a statement not meant to be taken literally? Hyperbole: I don’t think that word means what Lucia Graves thinks it means.

Fenris on April 22, 2014 at 12:29 PM

The ruined the American healthcare system because they wanted the power. There’s nothing wrong with our pols stating the obvious.

crrr6 on April 22, 2014 at 12:31 PM

the second followed up on the same theme, asserting that conservative critics of the law have sustained a credibility hit as a result of all this supposedly great news.

I saw it reported yesterday that although the WH won’t cough up numbers on “enrollees” versus premium-paying policyholders, Florida (I think) has. And out of 210,000 enrollees, only HALF have paid their premium.

BuckeyeSam on April 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM

TED CRUZ 2016!

Pork-Chop on April 22, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Speaking of which, Obama’s central theme in the briefing room was that the national debate regarding Obamacare is now “over.”

For any Breaking Bad fans, any time I hear Obama (or any other prog) clownishly claim “the debate is over,” here’s the response.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob7_LkZWjaI

BuckeyeSam on April 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

In just a few months, the insurance companies will announce their rates for next year. While this will vary from state to state, there will be horror stories aplenty.

The bogosity of the 8 million stat will then be undeniable. The people who least need insurance did not sign up in droves. (Maybe you can’t fool enough of the people enough of the time either.)

This “second wave” of Obamacare catastrophes will be studied and dissected for years to come.

I’m actually thinking of buying one of those professional popcorn poppers. Any recommendations?

Pythagoras on April 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

FDR and LBJ had an untapped reserve of national surplus to spend on vote buying, and that’s why their programs were relatively popular. Poor Obama had to work with what little money his wasteful predecessors in the office left him so he couldn’t buy enough happiness. That’s why O-Care is such a spectacular failure, and not because American public has somehow rejected his socialist idea.

Rix on April 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Nonsense. To believe this you are assuming the American public is stupid and easily bought. On the other hand, Obama was elected twice. Trying to compare social security to ObamaCare is weak. In one case, you get a check. In the other case you are forced to buy higher deductibles and thus less healthcare. Yeah, run just a few more commercials and it will all come up ice cream. snicker

rhombus on April 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

HotAir to be audited in 3…2…1… for daring to publish an article suggesting that the debate over Obamanationcare isn’t over. Welcome to the New “Fundamentally Transformed” Marxist Utopia America where government Tyranny is the norm and you are slaves to the State.

oscarwilde on April 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

With the exception of one Senator Ted Cruz’ attempt after the fact, I don’t recall there ever being an actual debate — it was shoved down the throat of the nation by tyrannical thugs (including the Chief Traitor of the SCOTUS) …

ShainS on April 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM

OT:
Anyone going to be in Tulsa, OK this Thursday for this rally??

DAMN, this is the one to be at!!

http://twshannon.com/rsvp/

ToddPA on April 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I like the idea that the debate about Obamacare is over and is here to stay. That idea won’t change the minds of those who oppose it and will probably not affect their decision to vote in the upcoming election, but if this concept was taken for granted among the 39% who favor Obamacare, then they will be all the more likely to stay at home on election day thinking it is safe from being repealed.

As a result, the resulting Republican election tsunami will be all the more glorious to behold.

Dusty on April 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Once a majority of people were convinced that Obamacare is a mega disaster then nothing Obama and his fools can do to change this belief… nothing what so ever…

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 12:57 PM

In briefing for reporters earlier today, SAOs said there’s nothing the WH can do to change opinions of the law while Obama is in office.

What is the SAO?

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Perhaps the Times could consult polling (including its own) before baking faulty assumptions into its reporting.

Liberals do not even believe their own polls when it show them the bitter truth about their utterly failed policies…

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 1:03 PM

What is the SAO?

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

It’s Twitter, so I assumed there was a transposition error. If so, and it’s SOA, I thought it might stand for the DC jargon title “senior official adviser.” I’m probably wrong, but it wasn’t worth more thought–it’s the Obama WH.

BuckeyeSam on April 22, 2014 at 1:06 PM

How can the debate be over, when Obamacare isn’t FULLY implemented?

LouisianaLightning on April 22, 2014 at 1:08 PM

What is the SAO?

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

It’s Twitter, so I assumed there was a transposition error. If so, and it’s SOA, I thought it might stand for the DC jargon title “senior official adviser.” I’m probably wrong, but it wasn’t worth more thought–it’s the Obama WH.

BuckeyeSam on April 22, 2014 at 1:06 PM

I looked it up, and there’s a “security advisory opinion”, but that deals with legal opinions on immigration, not legal opinions on ObamaCare. I’m guessing Zeke Miller had a brain fart.

Fenris on April 22, 2014 at 1:09 PM

It’s Twitter, so I assumed there was a transposition error. If so, and it’s SOA, I thought it might stand for the DC jargon title “senior official adviser.” I’m probably wrong, but it wasn’t worth more thought–it’s the Obama WH.

BuckeyeSam on April 22, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Thanks… I am not a big fan of acronyms but with Twitter they are down to 140 characters limit per tweet…

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

As a result, the resulting Republican election tsunami will be all the more glorious to behold.

Dusty on April 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

There will be a Republican win this November but not a tsunami as in 2010… The reason for that is very simple. In the House the Republicans almost maxed out on the number of districts that they can possibly win as the super vast majority of districts that the democrats now hold are demographically and ideologically very liberal with the exception of 5 to 10 districts where the Republican can win… So the most probable scenario is that the Republicans are going to keep the House and may be gain 5 to 10 more seats…

In the Senate, I am afraid, that we are going to gain a net of 3 seats at most. The reason is that on state wide elections in particular for US Senate and President the demographics are against us… We need to win on average 65% of the White vote in order to win the US Senate and the Presidency but now we have around 60% of the White vote…

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

SAO = Senior Administartion Official

D-fusit on April 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Nonsense. To believe this you are assuming the American public is stupid and easily bought. On the other hand, Obama was elected twice. Trying to compare social security to ObamaCare is weak. In one case, you get a check. In the other case you are forced to buy higher deductibles and thus less healthcare. Yeah, run just a few more commercials and it will all come up ice cream. snicker

rhombus on April 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

You just made my point, bro. If Obama could just hand poor and lazy people a check, instead of a rotten product, he would, and the program would be popular with the usual lot, i.e. takers. But given our sorry state of the economy, he had no such opportunity, and that’s why his program failed. American people are addicted to free shit, not iffy stuff they have to pay for. And yes, they are THAT stupid and THAT easily bought.

Rix on April 22, 2014 at 1:17 PM

SAO = Senior Administartion Official

D-fusit on April 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Winner! That was really annoying me.

Fenris on April 22, 2014 at 1:18 PM

SAO = Senior Administartion Official

D-fusit on April 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

OK, thank you… That makes sense now… Learning the lingo of the political pundits…

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 1:19 PM

For any Breaking Bad fans…

BuckeyeSam on April 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

And that, sir, is how it’s done.

(Thanks for the memories.)

Tsar of Earth on April 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

…I’m actually thinking of buying one of those professional popcorn poppers. Any recommendations?

Pythagoras on April 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Speaking of television series, I’d go with The Ferguson.

Tsar of Earth on April 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM

I loathe that half-black, lying sob.

HiJack on April 22, 2014 at 1:55 PM

I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have called him an sob. I meant to say bas-turd.

HiJack on April 22, 2014 at 1:59 PM

How many revealing words has dear leader spoken and we thought, ok, this is the statement or outright lie that is going to make everyone wake up to what he is and what he’s doing. Remember what he told Joe the plumber, bitter clingers, making coal power plants go bankrupt, you didn’t build that, keep your plan and keep your doc. Each time we thought that would do it and we still have 30-40% who think he’s wonderful.

Kissmygrits on April 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Oh and by the way, Obamacare has decimated Part D. It’s not even a joke anymore, it’s an insult.

John the Libertarian on April 22, 2014 at 2:17 PM

You folks are missing the obvious. “The debate is over” is NOT something Obama is telling the republicans…it’s marching orders for the MSM. “Let’s cut back the coverage of this little thing I call O-Care, would ya fellas?”

dirtseller on April 22, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Weren’t there some 40-odd million uninsured for whom Obamacare was to be a godsend? And only 7-8 million have signed up for this panacea they were all panting and moaning for?

Even accepting the administration’s highly dubious numbers at face value, why is it that only 17% of those grateful beneficiaries of this legislative miracle have bothered to avail themselves of it?

jbspry on April 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

The “Lie of the Year” is not so easily forgotten

Roy Rogers on April 22, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Is it too early for the IPCC report and politicians claiming the debate on global warming is over as lie of the year for 2014?

KW64 on April 22, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Rasmussen Reports also had a poll out yesterday that showed Obamacare was underwater by only 6 points–the best showing it had in Rasmussen polls since October.

The Rasmussen poll might well be an outlier, but it was an unusual development: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/health_care_law

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

You’d better doggone believe the voters won’t forget this. This pathetic law has led to the ruination of our health care system and has caused millions to lose coverage in health care policies they were happy with. We will remember in November….

Bob Davis on April 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Just as with Obama’s arrogant “I Won” comment in his first term he thought his “the debate is settled” statement would shut everyone up. Memo to Obama: No we will not be quiet, no we will not accept that this is over it is far from over. No people aren’t lying who are being adversely affected by this horrible law. No we won’t shut up. Keep pushing us go ahead and see what happens.

neyney on April 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

I see the day rapidly approaching that, if nothing is done to stop Obama and the Democrats, the people will rise up wage a civil war against our government. It’s coming to that, folks.

Bob Davis on April 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

In the Senate, I am afraid, that we are going to gain a net of 3 seats at most. The reason is that on state wide elections in particular for US Senate and President the demographics are against us… We need to win on average 65% of the White vote in order to win the US Senate and the Presidency but now we have around 60% of the White vote…

mnjg on April 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

But there is this…Twenty-one of the 35 seats up for election are now held by Democrats. Moreover, most the states that will be casting ballots for the Senate in 2014 are Republican leaning: 7 of the 21 Democratic-held seats are in states carried by the former Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, while just one of the Republican seats is in a state won by President Obama.

I think the odds of Republicans picking up more than 3 seats are a little better than your prognostication; unless, they find a way to blow it, of course! You know, like passing some sort of amnesty!!!

texgal on April 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

I see the day rapidly approaching that, if nothing is done to stop Obama and the Democrats, the people will rise up wage a civil war against our government. It’s coming to that, folks.

Bob Davis on April 22, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Even now, US public opinion is almost 50%-50% on Obama. And I wouldn’t count on succession votes going your way even in Texas and Oklahoma. I don’t see you getting much support from most people in the US.

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

there is a reason the polls are constantly negative on this health insurance law. When Clinton tried Hillarycare, it was the socialization of our healthcare system and they learned the American people do not want that, this is why the greatest lie of all, if you like your health insurance plan you can keep your plan, period, is so damaging and damning for the Democrats, people were fine with subsidizing the other guy as long as it does not affect me, the American people are a caring bunch and if we can help others we perceive to be in trouble then we try, but when this was proven to be a lie and it impacts people with health insurance they liked then the proverbial stuff hit the fan and this is why the democrats will pay in the midterms and in 2016 and let’s hope beyond. You just cannot convert us into Europe, we don’t want it because we have seen and read the damage which has been done. so the only answer is to repeal it and then deal with the small % of the population who needs and wants health insurance with a free market solution.

take responsibility on April 22, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Even now, US public opinion is almost 50%-50% on Obama. And I wouldn’t count on succession votes going your way even in Texas and Oklahoma. I don’t see you getting much support from most people in the US.

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Per Gallup: President Barack Obama’s job approval rating averaged 42.4% during his 21st quarter in office (based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted Jan. 20 through April 19).

I guess 42.4% is “50%” in your convoluted math, eh? Nice try, genius.

Bob Davis on April 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Per Gallup: President Barack Obama’s job approval rating averaged 42.4% during his 21st quarter in office (based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted Jan. 20 through April 19).

I guess 42.4% is “50%” in your convoluted math, eh? Nice try, genius.

Bob Davis on April 22, 2014 at 4:48 PM

I wrote “now”, not the over the last three months. These are as of yesterday:

President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 46, Disapprove 48 Disapprove +2

President Obama Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 48, Disapprove 50 Disapprove +2

http://realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 5:37 PM

So all of a sudden you like Rasmussen…hmmmm.

Hilarious.

The Rasmussen poll might well be an outlier,

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 2:48 PM

But you’ll run with it anyway.

Weirdly Jimbo you didn’t post this:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

Averages : Obama at 45.7 and almost 51% disapprove. 6.1% spread.

CW on April 22, 2014 at 5:51 PM

So Jimbo is that 50 50? Sheesh. Idiot.

CW on April 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Nothing is over until WE decide it is.

Mallard T. Drake on April 22, 2014 at 6:04 PM

So Jimbo is that 50 50? Sheesh. Idiot.

CW on April 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Even now, US public opinion is almost 50%-50% on Obama….

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 6:31 PM

So the Dems have to abandon the strategy of Debbie Wasseman Schultz – Running on Obamacare. No worries, the Left has a new strategy – call Republicans racists.

cosmoscon on April 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

CW on April 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Even now, US public opinion is almost 50%-50% on Obama….

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 3:32 PM

jim56 on April 22, 2014 at 6:31 PM

…it’s “pick your poll” time!

KOOLAID2 on April 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM