Support for president follows suit
Different polls have slightly different numbers but the trend is the same – Obamacare approval rating continues to fall.
Poll results released by Gallup on November 14 indicate that approval for Obamacare continues to fall. In a survey conducted November 7-10, the pollster asked, “Do you generally approve or disapprove of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Obama that restructured the U.S. Healthcare System?
The findings of this recent poll indicate that public support for the healthcare act has hit an all-time low, with 55 percent of those interviewed indicating disapproval. By comparison, only 40 percent of poll respondents said they approve of the massively troubled healthcare reform initiative.
Gallup found that approval for Obamacare actually increased in October
Although it is doubtful that these results are in any way surprising to a majority of the American public, the organization’s findings of October 23 seem to be seriously misaligned with our collective intuition. At that time, support for Obamacare actually appeared to be on the rise, with 45 percent of respondents indicating approval, and 50 percent voicing disapproval. These findings came on the heels of an August, 2013 poll, which found that 41 percent of those polled approved of Obamacare, meaning that the October results represented a 4 percent increase in approval.
In a summary of its October 23 findings, Gallup stated that, “Americans’ attitudes about the Affordable Care Act remain more negative than positive, although slightly less so than in August, prior to the government shutdown.” Although it may be hard to fathom, Gallup also stated that, “the poor performance of the health exchange sites may not at this point be negatively affecting Americans’ views.”
A massive disparity of opinion, divided neatly along party lines
Despite the fact that the continuing failures of Obamacare impact Americans of both political parties, Gallup finds a very marked division of opinion between Republicans and Democrats. “The law remains one of the most polarizing issues Gallup has measured, with more than eight in ten Democrats approving while more than eight in ten Republicans disapprove,” a Gallup representative stated in late October.
“Currently,” Gallup reports in its November 14 report, “73% of Democrats, 39% of independents, and 8% of Republicans approve of the healthcare law.”
Age seems to matter as well
Americans aged 18 to 29 also appear to hold more positive attitudes toward the healthcare law. Gallup recently reported that 51 percent of millennials claim to support Obamacare. Unfortunately for the president, the same group is significantly less enthusiastic about the chief executive’s job performance. Gallup finds that only 45 percent of the respondents polled in the 18-29 demographic express approval for the president.
This finding seems to represent a significant loss of support among a group that was highly instrumental in helping Obama win the past two presidential elections. In 2008, 66 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds cast their votes for the president. In 2012, support was nearly as strong, with 60 percent voting to re-elect the incumbent.
Who do you trust?
Apparently, not the president. According to a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, a majority of Americans (52 percent) say that they do not find Obama to be “honest or trustworthy.” In a similar poll, Gallup found that that only 50 percent of those interviewed believe that the president can be trusted.
Perhaps even worse for the president is the fact that, for first time in his presidency, fewer than half of all Americans say that he is a “strong and decisive leader.” The number currently stands at 47 percent, representing a loss of 6 percentage points since September.
“Obama’s once-positive image as a strong and decisive leader has suffered, in addition to his longtime reputation for being honest and trustworthy,” Gallup explains. “Of these, the decline in Obama’s honesty rating may be the most noteworthy because Gallup has previously found that this dimension is one of the most important drivers of his overall job approval. Thus, the recent controversy over whether the president honestly described Americans’ ability to retain their own healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act could have the most significant implications for his presidency.”
Losses are far-reaching
For the president, the bad news just keeps coming. The numbers trended down for virtually every question Gallup asked in its annual Health and Healthcare poll, conducted November 7-10.
Gallup found all of following “Characteristics and Qualities of Barack Obama” to have fallen since September 2013:
Honest and trustworthy: -5 percentage points
Strong and decisive leader: -6 percentage points
Can manage government effectively: -5 percentage points
Numbers for congress also low
According to Gallup, approval for the U.S. Congress “fell to 11% in October, during the U.S. government shutdown. Although the shutdown is now history, Americans’ views of Congress have not recovered, but instead have edged lower. The continuing depression in Americans’ views of Congress has occurred even though the troubles with the rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act are now dominating U.S. political news. Public displeasure with Congress is equally rampant across political groups, with Republicans (9%), independents (8%), and Democrats (10%) giving the institution similarly low approval ratings.”
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