Brutal Quinnipiac poll of Colorado: Obama's job approval at 36/59, Hillary now trails three Republican contenders

The worst state poll of his presidency? It’s his worst Quinnipiac state poll for sure, by their own admission, which is significant for two reasons. One: Colorado is, of course, a famously purple state and bellwether, one which helped Bush to the presidency in 2000 and 2004 and then broke for Obama in 2008 and 2012. The One is used to seeing his job approval 20 points underwater or more in red states, but Colorado hasn’t been a red state at the presidential level in nearly a decade. Lots of rehab work to be done by Democrats before the midterms.

Two: This may be early evidence that the O-Care debacle is spilling over into perceptions of other Democrats, specifically the nominee-in-waiting. Hillary trails Chris Christie head to head in this one by eight points, which is an unusually large spread between them; even more unusual is that she also trails Rand Paul (by three) and Paul Ryan (by two) and is tied with Ted Cruz. Typically Christie’s the only Republican who leads her in these hypothetical 2016 match-ups, and even he ends up trailing her sometimes. In Colorado, Quinnipiac found him ahead by three in June and ahead by just one point in August — and now suddenly he’s creeping up on double digits. That’s due in part to the good press he got after his Jersey landslide, but if this was all about Christie, you wouldn’t see Paul and Ryan overtaking Hillary too. Something else is going on.

Here’s what happens when you ask Coloradans whether they think their health care will be better next year because of O-Care or worse.


Lots of pessimism out there, most notably the -19 among women, a reliably Democratic group that tends to be more supportive of O-Care than men are. An ObamaCare optimist searching desperately for a silver lining could read that same data as proof that a clear majority thinks their health care will be better or, at worst, no different from how it is now, but that’s a poor interpretation for lots of reasons. For starters, part of the “no different” contingent may be under the impression that they’ll be able to keep their plans even if the suckers on the individual market can’t. Not true; America will see cancellations in group coverage soon enough, once the delay in the employer mandate expires. As more people are moved onto the exchanges, the problems consumers on the individual market are experiencing will only become more widespread — rate shock, access shock, and general annoyance at the realization that what Obama sold to the country as a big health-care upgrade for everyone is really just a redistribution scheme to have the healthy and middle-class pay for coverage for the poor and sick. David Frum’s dead right on this:

Perceptions will change, but not in the direction O-Care fans are hoping for. Speaking of which, here’s where perceptions in Colorado stand on which side in hindsight was to blame for the shutdown. The party that wants to shrink government naturally leads, but the margin is awfully thin — likely the result of some voters concluding that an urgent effort to stop ObamaCare from taking effect wasn’t so pointless after all.


It’s not just Hillary and Democrats generally who are suffering either. Mark Udall, Colorado’s Democratic senator, now finds himself with only small leads over a variety of Republican contenders. Given all the landmines that still lie in front of O-Care, I wonder how soon the Clintons will start inching away from health-care reform and what form that’ll take. Bill gave us a sneak preview with what he said last week about O needing to honor his “if you like your plan” commitment; Hillary will, for starters, surely end up endorsing a wider variety of plans being offered on the exchanges than just the expensive “comprehensive” ones that Obama keeps mumbling about. (Can’t wait to hear her explain how she’d make up the revenue shortfall from that.) More generous subsidies for the lower middle class to help ease rate shock is also a fait accompli for her platform. Don’t wait too long, Clintonworld.

Via RCP, here’s Krauthammer insisting she’s a paper tiger. I’m unconvinced.