Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Health Care Polling

Democratic candidates this fall will fare about the same whether health care passes or not. That's the finding of our newest national poll. So Democrats can not pass health care and go down in flames for having accomplished nothing, or they can pass health care and still go down in flames but at least have done some good for it.

The GOP leads 43-40 on the generic Congressional ballot. When you ask people how they'll vote if the Democrats don't pass their health care plan the GOP leads 43-38. That's because the level of support from Democratic voters for their own party drops from 80% to 76% if there is no health care bill. The GOP level of support remains unchanged at this point whether it passes or not.

Here's the bottom line on health care at this point: the political damage for Democrats has been done. It doesn't matter whether it actually passes- it has had the effect of getting Republican voters really fired up and along with the economy continuing to struggle it has turned independents toward the GOP as well. Those voters aren't going to come back at this point because health care doesn't pass. Would Democrats be in a better position right now if they hadn't even touched the issue? Probably. But what's the point of being in power if you don't deal with things like health care?

Democrats are primed to have a brutal election year right now. It might be nice if they actually had something to show for it. And as many smart people have argued, if health care reform passes and proves to be a success it may well be that while it's a short term political liability for the party, in the long run it's a winner in the vein of Social Security or Medicare.

We don't find any State of the Union bounce for Barack Obama. His approval breakdown of 48/49 is virtually identical to the 46/47 of two weeks ago.

Full results here


AuntPittypat said...

With 9 months to go before the elections, I am pretty sure most of these elected officials are not going to agree with your assessment.

Most are going to believe they can rehabilitate themselves by NOT passing HCR. Nine months is still a long time.

RightKlik said...


Today's polls are just a snapshot in time. As you well know, 9 months are an eternity in politics. If Democrats stop beating the dead horse with their health care agenda -- and focus on the economy and national security -- they could undo a lot damage.

It's not just the 2010 election that's at stake here. Dems need to focus on the urgent problems at hand. If the Democrats' ideas really have merit, there will be other opportunities for increased government involvement in health care.

Toast said...

Yea deal with the budget deficit. Cut across the board NOW!

Anonymous said...

"if health care reform passes and proves to be a success it may well be..."

If. If only. Wouldn't it be nice if.

The $10 trillion dollar word.

Anonymous said...

As a conservative I find fault with your assessment. While it's true that the Dems will probably do the same whether or not they vote for the Obamacare bill you aren't seeing the big picture. If they don't vote this thing in they may personally lose their seats this election but come back the next. If they do vote the Obamacare bill in then count on the Democrat Party to be out in a very substantial way for the next several election cycles. So it just depends on whether these Dem politicians are in it just for themselves or whether they are true believers and hope to get their party back in power. This Obamacare bill is pure poison for the Dem party and you pass it at your peril

Anonymous said...

" but at least have done some good for it."

What would that be exactly? They pass it or not they are still out. But if they do pass it, the democrat brand will be toxic for over a decade. Independents would rather have politicians do nothing than to condemn them to hell. Doing nothing may even be considered a step forward. The days of massive entitlements are running out. We just can't afford them. Worry about the economy and jobs and then those American's who couldn't or didn't want to afford healthcare may find it much easier to do so.

Unknown said...

The Dems are depending on people having a short memory and remaining apathetic about politics in general. Obama, Pelosi and Reid's insistence on passing legislation regardless of public sentiment to the contrary has awakened a sleeping giant. The distrust factor will weigh heavy in upcoming elections. Voters will bring brooms to the polls this November to sweep the Dems out.

Mr roT said...

Nonsense. If the Dems back off HCR now, it will be out of the news for 9 months. If they keep trying and finally pass it, the media fiasco will continue and they'll all be goners in November.

Unknown said...

I see the poll result as proof that Democrats are beyond salvation for the voters. Try switching the healthcare issues with others like national security, the budget, etc., see if there's a way where Democrats can turn back the tide on those.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference with Social Security. It did not exist before if was introduced. Most Americans have insurance and are happy with it. They hate this bill not because they do not know how good it is, but they know that they will lose good healthcare they have and will may more for bad healthcare they get. Probably it does not matter for Democrats in 2010 if this monstrosity is passed or not, but if it fails by next election people will forget, and if it passes people will hold Democrats responsible for ruined healthcare and high taxes forever.

James Kildare said...

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Anonymous said...

if health care reform passes and proves to be a success it may well be that while it's a short term political liability for the party, in the long run it's a winner in the vein of Social Security or Medicare.

Your pretty much echoing right-wing troglodyte Mark Steyn here. Putting as many people as possible in the thrall of government is always a good thing, from the leftist electoral perspective. Such certainly proved to be the case with Social Security and Medicare.

EyesWideOpen said...

But what's the point of being in power if you don't deal with things like health care?

Snort! Seriously? The point of being in power is to lead to sane outcomes that represent the overall will of the country. Sometimes that means you have to do unpopular things, but healthcare clearly isn't one of them. Telling people how to take care of themselves is the height of hubris.

And as many smart people have argued, if health care reform passes and proves to be a success it may well be that while it's a short term political liability for the party, in the long run it's a winner in the vein of Social Security or Medicare.

Again, seriously? Take a step back and listen to yourself. Yea, Social Security and Medicare are such long-term winners that they're about to explode and ruin the whole country. With winners like that, who needs losers?

The reality is, Social Security and Medicare are loved as programs right now only because people are not paying the full costs for them. They are not sustainable long-term (they are structurally unsustainable ponzi schemes). Put another way, I'm sure that Bernie Madoff's first clients were extremely happy with the money they made for them, as long as they quit as clients before the whole roof came down (the analogy being that my grandmother died a couple of years ago and didn't have to see the train wreck that me and my kids are going to have to pay for coming downs the track in the next decade or so).

Look, here's the deal: Social Security and Medicare are stupid, unsustainable programs. The Democrat Party's "healthcare reform" plan is cut from the same ponzi scheme cloth. Suggesting that the Democrats should accelerate into the brick wall of public opinion just to have "something to show for it," is simply elevating bankrupt ideology over common sense.

Anonymous said...

what does the poll say if the reps bring up their bill (again), that they tried to introduce 9 months ago - that was ignored. THAT would be an interesting poll. have the dems actively BLOCK rep HCR?? oh my god. they might actually DO it. they are so suicidal. wouldnt it be funny? like cosmically ironically funny capper to the dude who took kennedys seat, that kennedy had jiggered twice with for the special election provisions, would be #41 to block...the supposed "lifelong dream"...of TK. god indeed has a sense of humor. if the platypus wasnt enough. whats his face brown proves it.

Unknown said...

"or they can pass health care and still go down in flames but at least have done some good for it."
This is NOT a GOOD bill. We need healthcare reform that decreases costs.

livfreeordi said...

The HUGE logical problem with the thinking behind these current poll results is that it reflects how voters feel RIGHT NOW!

If healthcare reform doesn't pass, vital independent voters who are fired up by their opposition to it will have time before November to calm down..and perhaps think of other reasons to vote FOR Democrats.

However, if it does pass..odds are they will STILL be fired up mad come November.

As for Democrat voters... where else will they have to go?

Of course there are other issues that may continue to make electoral conditions bad for Democrats..Case in point.. the HUGE deficits in the budget bill just proposed by the President.The recent massive deficit spending is a big issue to independent voters.Does it make sense to continue it?

It also doesn't make much sense to try to keep defending tax increases of ANY kind when the economy needs all the PRIVATE investment it can get in order to recover.

And what about the President's proposal to SPEND the repaid TARP money, which current law says was supposed to go back into the treasury? That doesn't look very good to independent voters either!

Every day.. it looks like this administration has a death wish for the Democratic Party.

Dr. Ryan Weisgerber said...

I am a Fort Collins Chiropractor who is just out of school an am very scared to see what is going to happen. We will soon find out for better or worst!

Anonymous said...

I have been an Independent since Perot's run in 1992 when I realized that there has to be a better way that voting for an R or a D. I've often voted for the sanest third party candidate I could find (tough sometimes) or just leave it blank, but I always vote.

What the Democrats are doing in DC right now between Health Care, Spending and the Deficit has me mad enough to consider switching my party registration from Ind to Rep and become active in getting out the vote, going door to door.

I've never been as motivated to try and make a difference as I am now. That's something these polls aren't capturing and that's just how mad the average American is at DC.

They voted for "Change". Change from big spending ways of Bush. Change from an war policy. Change from the crap we've seen from Bush and the Republicans for 8 years. Only to change to the same crap from Obama. I don't care if the R's got us here, the only way this country has a prayer is gridlock and I'll do everything I can do deliver that this November, 1994 style.

Mark Turner said...

Anyone who childishly misspells "Democratic Party" can STFU.

JMR said...

If Democrats don't pass healthcare reform..it spells "F"--BIG Failure. It will embolden Republicans who will sit on their high horses pointing to the Dem/Obama failures and how they (Reps) saved the country from "government run health care" while offering nothing constructive themselves.
Yes, the poll is a snapshot in time but if Dems don't deliver on health reform, that big "F" will snowball downhill, affecting other priorities like jobs and the economy from now until election day..exactly the Rep strategy. Results! Results! That's what people want and expect from the majority in power.

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