New Poll for NPR says, be careful accepting conventional wisdom on The Affordable Care Act and 2014 being a Republican year
A new national poll of likely voters fielded by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and designed by Democracy Corps and Resurgent Republic for National Public Radio shows the national congressional vote effectively tied, with Democrats ahead by 1 point, 44 percentto 43percent, among the 2014 likely electorate. In its analysis, Democracy Corps urges the political class to re-examine its assumptions about The Affordable Care Act and about this being a Republican year.
The Republicans have bet heavily on Obamacare’s unpopularity, but that misreads the public’s views on the Affordable Care Act. This is a base and turnout issue for Republicans but the public judgment is dynamic and moving and could come to haunt the Republicans. When Democrats make the case for the very real benefits and the public thinks the Republicans really want to repeal the law, off-year voters notice. With more than7.1 million successfully signing up through exchanges, voters could come to see the stakes. That could impact turnout on the Democratic side.
- The Congressional vote is nowdead even(44 percent to 43 percent)among likely voters. By 7 points, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they are certain to vote.
- Democratic base groups (especially the Rising American Electorate of unmarried women, young people, and minorities) are not performing where they could be (both in turnout and support for Democrats) but that could move in the future.
- President Obama has a net negative approval with likely voters and low approval numbers among independents. This is part of what is challenging, but in public polls, his approval has moved up from 42 percent to 44 percent and is at 46 percent in this poll.
- The Republican Party and Republican Congress brands remain toxic. Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of likely voters disapprove of the Republican House, half (48 percent) do so strongly. Just a quarter (24 percent) approve. The Republican House now has a net negative -48 approval.
- This poll finds that there has been a misreading of public opinion on the Affordable Care Act. Among likely voters who say they oppose the law, 7 percent do so because it does not go far enough—this is especially concentrated among minorities. Only about 45 percent of the electorate is really opposed because it represents big government.
- As a result, when the debate is between implementing or repealing the ACA, the intensity shifts towards implementing the law, so it is possible that Democrats will be able to turn the debate.
- In this poll, we tested the best Republican argument on healthcare, written by Resurgent Republic, against a Democratic message which says the law needs fixes but makes critical changes. Democrats win this debate by 5 points and with an advantage on intensity. This should lead Democrats to rethink.
- The Rising American Electorate favor Democrats’ message in this debate by 22 points, and do so with real intensity (half say they strongly favor this message over the Republican alternative).
- Over the coming week, we will be releasing more material with Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund about the role of the RAE and unmarried women in this election and the important messages and policies that move both turnout and performance among these groups.