Monday, November 23, 2009

Health Care and 2010

The political repercussions for Congressional Democrats of not passing a health care bill could be severe. Our newest national survey finds that Democrats lead 46-38 on the generic Congressional ballot. But asked how they would vote if no health care bill is passed respondents split 40-40 between saying they would vote Democratic or Republican in next year's election.

In some sense the Democrats may be in a damned if you don't or damned if you do position on health care. Asked how they would vote for Congress next year if a health care bill with a public option is passed respondents said they would go Democratic by a 46-41 margin, still more narrow than before any hypotheticals about health care outcomes were introduced into the questions.

Here are a couple key takeaways:

-There is a price to pay with independents if a strong health care bill is passed. Democrats lead 37-30 with them in general on the generic ballot, but they say they'll vote 44-37 for the GOP if a bill with a public option makes it through. Clearly some independents are sitting on the fence waiting to see what happens with health care before they decide how to vote next year and Democrats could push them toward the Republican side by passing a bill without bipartisan support.

-That said, the price to pay with those independents is not nearly as bad as the damage Democrats would do with their base by not passing a health care bill. Democrats get 86% with their own party on the generic ballot if a bill with a public option passes. They get 84% before health care is even mentioned. They get just 75% without a health care bill. They have to get something done in order to keep the party's rank and file voters in line for next year.

What's the big take away?

The political damage for Democrats of passing a public option is not as bad as the damage from doing nothing. But they would still be better off passing something that's not perfect than passing nothing at all. Most voters aren't following this debate really closely and don't understand the nuances of it all. At the end of the day voters are likely to see this as either a bill was passed or it was not. In some sense that should get the Blanche Lincolns and Mary Landrieus of the world in line- they're probably going to face just as much trouble back home whether there's a public option in there or not. But failing that Democrats would still be better off, at least for next year's election, with a weaker bill than no bill at all.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Yes, democrats...pass the bill.

Anonymous said...

LOL....amazing how your poll is the only one to come to such a absurdly unrealistic conclusion. We the people do not want this no matter how much you try to fudge the numbers!

Scott W. Somerville said...

A brilliant Democratic strategy: commit ALL resources to a single do-or-die initiative that CANNOT move quickly (in the Senate) at a time when unemployment is at historically impressive levels. Paint the entire party into a corner where the best you can hope for is a Pyrrhic victory (where you win the battle but lose the war) and the worst is unimaginably bad for the party. It makes one wonder who came up with this strategy--clearly not Bill Clinton!

Anonymous said...

It's not about healthcare - it'
about about controlling the masses and destroying America as a free nation.

Unknown said...

An 8 point lead in the Generic Preference for DEMOCRATS???!!!

Are you INSANE? According to both Rasmussen and Gallup, it is REPUBLICANS who are far ahead on this metric NOT Democrats.

What a load.

A new FAKE poll just in time to get Dems to vote for Obamacare.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the cost to the dems. As I read the text, you are suggesting that if the is no health insurance change, responding dems will vote for Republicans next year. That is absurd. Ultra-left wingers will NEVER vote for Republicans. Independents are already shifting away from Lord Obama and health care, one way or another, won't change. I believe a significant portion of your respondents are not being truthful. I know that I now, never tell a calling pollster the truth.

Anonymous said...

Right. I think I'll stick with Rasmussen (the thorn in your side) and all the other pollsters on this one.

New low in obamacare support today, per Rasmussen.

Only 38% support it. 56% oppose.

Democrats brought this upon themselves. Voting for it is far worse for them than pulling the plug.

Anonymous said...

Come on, there is NO WAY Democrats are that far ahead on the generic ballot. NO WAY. Both Gallup and Rasmussen have Repubs up by 4. If you want to be taken seriously, you're going to have to figure out why your polling is so far off.....this is not the first time!!

Adam Smith said...

How comic to equate the socialist Dems failure in the polls with failing to pass Obamacare.

Comic that Americans would revolt against us turning into France overnight.

Anonymous said...

"An 8 point lead in the Generic Preference for DEMOCRATS???!!!

Are you INSANE? According to both Rasmussen and Gallup, it is REPUBLICANS who are far ahead on this metric NOT Democrats."

Not insane. Just a leftist with a free Blogger account sharing his/her fantasies. (i.e. no actual real life poll numbers involved)

magnesium said...

It is surprising result of "40-40".As you said,the democratic party's position is like 'hanging sword on head' on the health care bill.By the way,the bill has already created lots of controversy and it will not over soon if the bill will be passed in the assembly.

Wil Golden said...


Seniors have been one of your two most loyal voting block for two generations.

Do you honestly belive, that after TWENTY election cycles of hearing EVERY ad from Dem candidates "Voting for XXX (R) will mean a cut in Medicare!", that this won't cost y'all? That the RNC won't preface EVERY add with "NOW who is cutting Medicare?"

The young (who went Obama by ~ 20 points only a year ago) are also beginning to notice who will be left holding the bag for the cost.

PLEASE, OH, PLEASE take your time on national television, and pass this POS! Over under for Republican pick-ups in the House is already +45. Wanna try for 75? 100? Oh, be still my beating heart!

Go on, drink the kool-aid! You can do it!

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