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The latest Pew poll on the Affordable Care Act shows the political dilemma Republicans face as a result of their promises to the base that they could repeal the law: a huge majority of Republicans hate the law, but Americans as a whole have no faith in Republicans ability to lead on health care. So in 2014, they've got to try to keep the base happy at the cost of annoying the hell out of the rest of the electorate.
Public views of the 2010 health care law have changed little over the past several months. Currently, 55% disapprove of the Affordable Care Act and 41% approve. In September, before the launch of the online health care exchanges, 53% disapproved and 42% approved.
Republicans continue to be largely united in their opposition of the health care law — 88% disapprove and 10% approve of it. Among Democrats, about three-in-four (73%) approve, while roughly one-in-four (24%) disapprove of the law. Independents remain mostly opposed to the law, with 57% disapproving and about four-in-ten (39%) approving of it. […]
On health care policy, 46% express a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Obama, 45% express at least a fair amount of confidence in Democratic leaders, while 37% have confidence in Republican leaders. This is a slight improvement for Republican leaders since December 2013, when 32% of the public had confidence in GOP leaders on health care policy (and 50% had confidence in Obama).
Republicans got that slight improvement from people claiming to be independents—that bloc of voters that refuses to admit they're really Republicans. But the independent vote isn't really what Republicans need to worry about. They need to worry about the 97 percent of self-identified tea party Republicans who disapprove the law—and the 91 percent who put themselves in the strongly disapprove category. They need to worry that they turned their party entirely over to these people for the past four years and made promises to them—repeal—that they can never deliver. And the rest of the country has no faith in them to deliver anything on health care at all.
That's where where the great change of subject Benghazi comes in. They can't keep feeding the tea party beast repeal, so this is their substitute.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon May 05, 2014 at 08:44 AM PDT.