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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

New DCorps/Resurgent Republic Poll Gauges Fallout from ACA Decision

A new opinion poll conducted by Democracy Corps and Resurgent Republic for National Public Radio sheds light on public attitudes toward the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the Affordable Care Act and the possible impact on President Obama’s re-election prospects. The survey, conducted 7/9-12, 2012, polled 1000 LV’s nationally, including an oversample of 462 voters in twelve battleground states. NPR commissioned DCorps, which leans toward the Democratic Party and Resurgent Republic, which favors the GOP, to insure bipartisan credibility in survey methods. But there are differences in interpretation and analysis.
According to the lead sentence in the e-blast of NPR’s analysis, “In the first-ever joint survey for National Public Radio by Democracy Corps and Resurgent Republic, voters in key battleground states voice opposition to further attempts by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.” Further,

While voters are evenly split on the Supreme Court’s health care decision, they believe the Court has spoken and think it’s time to move forward and focus on the economy. More than half of all voters (51 percent) say “the Supreme Court has spoken and it’s time for us to move forward…our main focus should be on our economy–getting people back to work with better paying jobs.” This message beats the Republican alternative–that we need to continue to try to repeal the law because it is hurting our economy–among all voters by a 7 point margin and by 9 points (53-44) in the battleground.

Among the highlighted findings, according to NPR:

All voters sharply disapprove of Congress, including overwhelming majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. In the battleground, three quarters of all voters disapprove and half (49 percent) disapprove strongly.
Obama enjoys net positive approval among all voters (49 percent approve, 46 percent disapprove). Voters in the battleground are split evenly.
The Presidential contest remains very close; Obama marginally edges Romney by 2 points (47 percent to 45 percent) among all voters. The race is locked in a dead heat in the battleground, 46-46.
Americans are evenly divided on the Supreme Court decision–among all voters, 47 percent approve, 46 percent disapprove. On balance, however, voters say the decision is more likely to make them support the law.
In detailed arguments back and forth, voters lean towards supporting the health care law; in every debate, the pro-health care law position draws even with or beats the anti-health care law position.
Democrats draw their strongest advantage when they assert that the Supreme Court has spoken and it is time to move on and focus on the economy.

For the DCorps analysis of the poll, click here.
As you might guess, the Republican-favoring Resurgent Republic analysis of the data spins it a little differently. According to Resurgent Republic’s e-blast on thepoll, “in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the health care reform law, President Obama’s signature domestic achievement continues to be a drag on his chances for reelection, and the presidential election remains a dead heat, both nationally and in battleground states.”
With full results available at www.resurgentrepublic.com, the following are key highlights:

Independents remain a sticking point for President Obama. Swing voters disapprove of his job performance (50 to 43 percent) and his handling of the economy (56 to 41 percent).
On the presidential ballot, Independents favor Romney by 5 points (45 to 40 percent).
More voters still oppose than support the health care reform law: 48 to 43 percent (overall); 50 to 37 percent (Independents); and 52 to 39 percent (Battleground States).
Controlling the cost of health care is the top priority in reform, and among these voters, 68 percent say the health care reform law does not address their concern about costs.
On the issue of whether the health care law is good or bad for America, Republicans hold an advantage with Independents (47 to 43 percent) and battleground-state voters (50 to 44 percent).
On the issue of whether the health care reform law raises taxes, Republicans again have an advantage with Independents (48 to 42 percent) and battleground-state voters (49 to 45 percent).

Naturally, this interpretation fails to factor out those who oppose the ACA because it isn’t progressive enough or doesn’t provide a public option. Even taking the Resurgent Republic analysis at face value, it doesn’t look like Dems have too much to worry about regarding how opinions about the ACA will influence the few undecided voters remaining.

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