I’m with Karl on this. As gratifying as it is to see the idiotic nutroots predictions about a post-ObamaCare surge in enthusiasm proved wrong, this all but guarantees yet another mind-numbing O-Care talking-points national tour for The One. All they have to do is change the script from “It’s only been a week!” to “It’s only been a month!” and they’re good to go.
We still do not know how this story ends. We could be at the beginning of a new, six-month chapter with voters growing more invested in the country’s current course and shifting their thinking about the issues and stakes. Or we could be locked into this current chapter as a final one full of angry citizens determined to cast their votes against Washington, the elites, Democrats and government. There is some evidence the former is possible, if the president and Democrats throw themselves behind emergent trends, though there is even more evidence for the latter ending.
Health care’s passage did not produce even a point rise in the president’s approval rating or affection for the Democratic Congress. Virtually every key tracking measure in April’s poll has remained unchanged, including the Democrats’ continued weakness on handling of the economy. Both parties are equally reviled, reflected in their lowest ratings in history, while voters want to punish those in power – for the partisan bickering, bailing out the undeserving, government spending, the deficit, and the endless gridlock over health care while people struggled to survive the jobs crisis. With independents even more conservative and Republican-leaning in this survey, the congressional battle in 2010 looks like a dead-heat at best – a 12-point swing in this poll from 2008.
The new lefty spin via David Corn: If they hadn’t passed O-Care, Democratic enthusiasm would be even worse than it is now. Which is a nifty argument insofar as it’s completely unprovable. But here’s something new from Gallup worth considering. I ask you — how much worse could it be?
“Very enthusiastic” voters aren’t a perfect proxy for likely voters, but if you were wondering why The One is suddenly cutting videos to rally his base, now you know. To put this in perspective for you, compare the numbers for this year and 1994:
Note to Gallup: Next time you poll this, make sure to provide crosstabs on how things have changed, or not changed, since the health-care law that saved America passed last month. There’s bloggy gold in them thar hills. Exit question: When will support for repealing O-Care finally hit 60 percent among likely voters? Over/under is six weeks.