Democrats fail to move the needle on Obamacare

During the Democratic Convention, the Dems made a strong push to reverse perceptions of Obamacare. Speaker after speaker extolled its virtues, while “ordinary folk” testified to ways in which it helps their families.

It seemed to me that the Dems weren’t just doing this to rally the base. I thought they also wanted to “relitigate” (to use a favorite Obamaism) the issue.

If so, the Democrats do not appear to have succeeded. Jeffrey Anderson at the Weekly Standard points to a recent Rasmussen poll in which, by a margin of 10 percentage points (53 to 43 percent), likely voters support the repeal of Obamacare. By a margin of 11 points (52 to 41 percent), independents support repeal. These numbers are in line with pre-convention polling.

Moreover, Americans think Obamacare would increase, rather than decrease, health costs (52 to 20 percent); reduce, rather than improve, the quality of care (46 to 22 percent); and raise, rather than lower, deficit spending (51 to 16 percent). I find it interesting that support for repeal is not even more widespead, given the impact Americans believe Obamacare will have on the quality and cost of their health care.

In any event, these numbers are good news for Romney. Obamacare is the president’s signature achievement. Thus, one would hope that its unpopularity will be one of the “fundamentals” of this race.

Of course, it would help if Romney pushed the issue harder. As Anderson points out, the Democrats seemed to talk more about Obamacare at their convention than the Republicans did at theirs.


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