The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll indicates that the only group of Americans who remain strongly supportive of Obamacare are self-described “liberal Democrats.” Even “moderate or conservative” Democrats have started to jump ship en masse — as they’re now more likely to oppose Obamacare than to support it. Given that most Democrats (57 percent, according to the poll) claim to be either “moderate” or “conservative,” this poses a major problem for the Obama administration’s centerpiece legislation.
Perhaps even worse for the administration, the poll indicates that more and more non-liberal Democrats are abandoning President Obama’s namesake over time. Shortly after Obama and his Democratic congressional allies rammed Obamacare into law, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of self-described “moderate or conservative” Democrats said they supported the legislation. Last year, just 57 percent said they did. Now, just 46 percent say they do — a nearly 30-point drop-off from 2010 and a double-digit drop-off from just last year.
The Post writes:
“Just after the law was passed in 2010, fully 74 percent of moderate and conservative Democrats supported [Obamacare]. But just 46 percent express support in the new poll, down 11 points in the past year. Liberal Democrats, by contrast, have continued to support the law at very high levels — 78 percent in the latest survey.”
The Post continues:
“The shift among [non-liberal Democrats]…is driving an overall drop in party support for the legislation: Just 58 percent of Democrats now support the law, down from 68 percent last year and the lowest since the law was enacted in 2010.”
Perhaps that’s why 35 House Democrats abandoned Obama last week and voted to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate by law rather than simply by executive fiat, and why 22 Democrats abandoned Obama and voted to delay Obamacare’s individual mandate. (The Post seems unfamiliar with these votes, as its poll asks, “The federal government [not, ‘The president, acting unilaterally’] has delayed for 1 year the requirement that companies with 50 or more employees have to provide health insurance to their employees or pay a fine. Do you approve or disapprove of the delay in this requirement?”)
The poll also indicates that, among all respondents, Obamacare is currently even less popular than it was on the cusp of its passage. Today, it faces a 7-point deficit in approval rating — 42 percent support it, while 49 percent oppose it — compared to a 3-point deficit in February 2010 — 46 percent supporting, 49 percent opposed. (The Democrats passed Obamacare in March 2010.) To be sure, Obamacare’s current approval-deficit would look even worse if not for the Washington Post and ABC News’s reluctance to include Republicans in their survey. Only 21 percent of the poll’s respondents were Republicans, compared to 32 percent in last year’s exit polling (in what was hardly a good election for the GOP).
But even with this peculiar split in party affiliation, the poll still highlights the intensity of opposition to the Democrats’ attempted overhaul of American medicine. Obamacare’s approval-rating deficit among those who feel “strongly” (either way) is twice as great (minus-14 points — with 25 percent “strongly” supporting it and 39 percent “strongly” opposing it) as its approval-rating deficit among all respondents (minus-7 points — 42 percent supporting, 49 percent opposing).
In short, Obamacare is on the ropes, and only the most liberal wing of Obama’s own party clearly remains in its corner.