The October Kaiser Health Tracking poll shows that, by a margin of 17 percentage points, Americans have an “unfavorable” (51 percent), rather than “favorable” (34 percent) opinion of Obamacare. This margin of opposition is all the more remarkable because the poll by Kaiser, a strong supporter of Obamacare, is skewed notably to the left. It included only 22 percent Republicans to 32 percent Democrats, even though exit polling in the last election showed an even split in party identification (35 percent apiece).
The poll is chock-full of bad news for Obamacare. It shows that Obamacare is supported by fewer than a third of all independents (32 percent), barely over a tenth of all Republicans (11 percent), and — most amazingly — barely over half of all Democrats (52 percent). What’s more, the numbers get even worse for Obamacare among those who feel strongly (either way). Only 2 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents, and 20 percent of Democrats have a “very favorable” opinion of Obamacare — while 63 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of independents, and 12 percent of Democrats have a “very unfavorable” opinion of it.
Kaiser writes that Obamacare’s 34 percent level of support is “a low point in Kaiser tracking polls since the law was passed.”
It’s hard to imagine a president winning reelection when his signature legislation has numbers like these. Moreover, Obamacare is the one issue on which president Obama cannot pivot and from which he cannot escape. Perhaps this poll will help remind some of the Republican presidential candidates that this election isn’t only — or even mostly — about the economy.