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Obama Still Doesn't Get It: Only One in Six Voters Is Content with Obamacare

11:30 AM, Nov 10, 2010 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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In any event, one can play this game in either direction: If we combine two of the three answers, as President Obama has done, we find that voters oppose Obamacare’s expansion by better than 2 to 1 (64 to 31 percent). Even more embarrassingly to the president (one would think), voters oppose keeping Obamacare in its current form by almost 5 to 1 (79 to 16 percent). When only about one in six voters supports the survival of your signature legislation as written, that’s not a strong endorsement of your presidency to date.  

Furthermore, as Bill Kristol observed on Fox News Sunday, it’s not like Obama can now pivot to the center and leave Obamacare behind. President Clinton was fortunate enough to be able to distance himself from the electoral wreckage left in Hillarycare’s wake. But Obamacare and Barack Obama are a lot like Disneyland and Walt Disney: You can’t say the one without immediately thinking of the other.

At the ballot box, as well as in the exit polls, voters showed their support for repeal and their opposition to the current overhaul. In comparable districts, anti-Obamacare Democrats won reelection at twice the rate of pro-Obamacare Democrats. Put otherwise, in swing or moderately Republican-leaning districts (which are essentially the only districts in which both pro- and anti-Obamacare Democrats can be found), after individual Democrats cast their votes for Obamacare, these members of Congress cut their chances of gaining reelection approximately in half.  

Moreover, as the November Kaiser Health Tracking Survey shows, “Nearly six in ten (59 percent) of the ‘health care voters’ — those “who said that [health-care] reform was one of the top two factors influencing their vote” — “backed a Republican candidate for Congress.” Just 19 percent of “health care voters” think Obamacare would make them and their family “better off.”

As these numbers strongly suggest, Obamacare is the principal reason why a huge, nearly 80-seat Democratic majority in the House will become a very large, roughly 50-seat Republican majority shortly after New Year’s. President Obama nevertheless insists that half of all voters are with him in thinking that passing Obamacare “was the right thing to do.” This clearly answers the question posed by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie at the president’s post-election press conference:  “[I]s it possible that voters can conclude, you're still not getting it?”

Jeffrey H. Anderson is a Pacific Research Institute senior fellow.

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