The One’s bounce has already started to fade but the numbers for the bill itself were an open question since Gallup’s shocker last week showing a surge of support to 49/40. Momentary spike due to glowing media coverage of the historic historicness of passage? Or a sustained rise as Americans reconcile themselves psychologically to their horrific new boondoggle?
An answer, perhaps:
In the poll, 50% call passage of the bill “a bad thing” and 47% say it was “a good thing.” That’s at odds with the findings of a one-day USA TODAY Poll taken a week ago — a day after the U.S. House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill “a good thing.”…
The failure of the new law to get even plurality support is especially sobering for House Democrats from competitive congressional districts who heeded pleas from the White House and congressional leaders to vote “yes.” The legislation passed 219-212, with just three votes to spare.
“There was on the Democratic side a burst of enthusiasm after it passed saying, ‘Ah, now voters are being won over,’ ” says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies polling. “The cumulating data this past seven days says that, no, a miracle didn’t happen and the public didn’t suddenly change their views on this. It means that the Democrats still face a tough sell of a public close to evenly divided on this and even slightly more opposed than in favor, and that difficulty didn’t go away with passage.”
And here’s some completely unrelated news, I’m sure:
To give you a sense of how startling it is for the GOP to actually lead on the generic ballot, revisit this Gallup piece from November comparing major electoral waves to the generic ballot polling that preceded them. The Democrats almost always lead; even in the red tide of 1994, the final generic ballot showed the parties even at 46/46. What does that mean for this year? Well, Gallup constructed the following statistical model to try to predict Democratic gains or losses.
So unexpectedly low is 44 percent that they didn’t even bother to model it. Although the results are clear enough: If these numbers held on election day, you’d be looking at upwards of 60 seats flipping. Which isn’t the first time we’ve heard that speculation.
But wait. If Democratic enthusiasm is surging due to passage of O-Care, how can it be that the GOP’s actually gaining on the generic ballot? This was the left’s big argument, after all — that only by ramming that beast through and energizing the base could they save themselves in November. Well, here’s your answer:
They lit a fire under progressives’ asses — and under independents’ and Republicans’ too. Riling up your base doesn’t help much if it riles up your opponents’ base almost as much, especially when that opponent’s starting at higher enthusiasm levels to begin with. And a fearless prediction for you on that note: As hot to vote as Republicans are now, that number will actually go up as the year drags on. A 15-point edge is not necessarily the high-water mark here, or so I suspect.
One last note. I’ve been dumping on national polls periodically with the reminder that there is no “national” House election, only 435 local ones. It’s the swing states, as always, that count. So how’s O-Care faring these days in a swing state The One carried two years ago? Why, worse than it is in the national poll: 34/54, with 62 percent of independents and 65 percent of seniors disapproving. “Senator Rubio” sure has a nice ring to it.