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Yesterday, I posted a diary on the recent CNN/ORC International poll on the health care bill, highlighting the unfortunate ubiquity of misleading reporting on the results.  News sites--and not just Politico which I highlighted--lumped together those who oppose the Affordable Care Act from the left and those who oppose it from the right when a more accurate presentation of results would identify what I call the universal health caucus--the support/strengthen constituency. I would assume (I hope correctly) many of the bill's supporters would likewise support a stronger bill and may believe the bill is more far-reaching and inclusive than it, in fact, is.

I wanted to dig deeper into the demographic breakdown yesterday, but I could not get the link to the poll results to work at the time.  Thankfully, the link now works.  Going into it, I was particularly curious about the demographics of the respondents who thought the bill was "not liberal enough"; however, I will go through all of the contingents here.

First of all, I would like to point out what I call "the case of the missing 3 percent."  CNN's poll has two questions, one that covers overall support/opposition and the more thorough one I addressed above.

The general question reads as follows:

As you may know, a bill that makes major changes to the country's health care system became law in 2010. Based on what you have read or heard about that legislation, do you generally favor or generally oppose it?
43% said they support it, 54% said they oppose it, and 3% have no opinion.

To get a more accurate reading on public opinion, CNN asked this follow-up:

Do you oppose that legislation because you think its approach toward health care is too liberal, or because you think it is not liberal enough?
Along with the 43% supporters, 35% said that the bill is "too liberal," and 16% said it is "not liberal enough."  7% had no opinion.

If you add up the opposition 35 + 16, you only get 51%; however, the top line for opposition was 54%.  Apparently, 3% of these folks moved from opposition to no opinion; I would consider the rest of the difference to be a product of rounding. What gives?  "I don't like it, but I have no reasons for not liking it"?

I find it somewhat problematic that the question was divided into two distinct parts.  For instance, I would have wanted a much stronger bill that actually achieved the goal of universal insurance (such as a single payer system); however, if I were asked the general favor/oppose question, I would probably hesitate unless I knew I had the opportunity to qualify my opposition.

Also, as we know, polls should often be taken with somewhat of a grain of salt; the margin of error is +/- 8 percent.  However, the endurance of the trends gives the poll more credibility.

GENDER

A majority of both men and women fall in the support/strengthen caucus as I defined it above, and, as should come as little surprise, women are more likely than men to favor the bill as is and to oppose it for not being liberal enough.

44% of women favor the bill, and 18% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 30% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 62-30

41% of men favor the bill, and 13% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 40% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 54-40

RACE/ETHNICITY

There is--unfortunately if not unsurprisingly--a large gap between whites and non-whites in support for the bill and for universal health care overall.

35% of whites favor the bill, and 15% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 43% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 50-43

60% of non-whites favor the bill, and 17% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 17% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 77-17

AGE

Among the various age groups, young people (18-34) are the strongest supporters of the bill, and seniors (65+) are the most likely to oppose it from both directions.  The support/strength caucus declines and the conservative opposition grows with age.

Among the 18-34 crowd, 52% favor the bill, and 13% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 28% oppose it for being too liberal. Universal health care caucus: 65-28

Among the 35-49 crowd, 43% favor the bill, and 15% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 37% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 58-37

Among the 50-64 crowd, 40% favor the bill, and 15% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  38% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 55-38

Among seniors, only 31% favor the bill, and 22% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  39% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 54-39

INCOME

The poll divided respondents into two income categories: below $50K and above $50K--although it is unclear whether this refers to individual or household income.  Regardless, those in the lower income group were more likely both to favor the bill and to oppose it from the left.

48% of those with incomes under $50K favor the bill, and 21% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  23% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 69-23

41% of those with incomes above $50K favor the bill, and 10% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 45% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 51-45

I would infer that the income gap here has a strong correlation with people's current insurance status--with those currently comfortably insured less likely to value universal health insurance as a goal.

EDUCATION

The pattern we saw in income occurs in the education category as well.  CNN divides the respondents into two groups: No College and Attended College. (No distinctions are made among "some college," "undergraduate degree," and "postgraduate degree.")

42% of those with no college background favor the bill, and 26% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  25% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 68-25

43% of those who attended college favor the bill, and 8% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  43% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 51-43

POLITICAL AFFILIATION

As we would expect, almost all Democrats are in our universal health care caucus--joined by a majority of independents. Democrats, strangely enough, are not the most likely to oppose the bill from the left.

72% of Democrats favor the bill, and 14% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  10% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 86-10

36% of Independents favor the bill, and 17% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  36% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 53-36

16% of Republicans favor the bill, and 14% oppose it for not being liberal enough. [These Republicans fascinate me.] 67% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus loses 30-67

The patterns are similar across the categories of political identity (rather than affiliation); however, the "moderate" category will trend more toward the left because of the number of self-described moderate Democrats.  Interestingly, moderates, not liberals, are the most likely to oppose the bill from the left in this poll.

68% of liberals favor the bill, and 12% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 8% oppose it for being too liberal. [Who are these people, and why do they call themselves liberals?]  Universal health care caucus: 80-8

47% of moderates favor the bill, and 21% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  27% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 68-27

25% of conservatives favor the bill, and 10% oppose it for not being liberal enough.  [Who are these conservatives who think it's not liberal enough?  They fascinate me.  I have, however, come across conservative defenses of single payer which stress its fiscal responsibility.] 59% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus loses: 35-59

REGION

As one would expect, the support for the bill is strongest in the Northeast.  It is weakest in the West--probably because the poll takes a very expansive definition of West (everything west of the Mississippi, I'd guess).

53% of Northeasterners favor the bill, and 13% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 25% oppose the bill for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 66-25

48% of Midwesterners favor the bill, and 17% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 24% oppose the bill for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 65-24

38% of Southerners favor the bill, and 17% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 40% oppose the bill for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 55-40

33% of Westerners favor the bill, and 15% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 48% oppose the bill for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 48-48

LOCATION

Unsurprisingly, support for the bill is strongest in urban areas, and conservative opposition is strongest in the suburbs.  Left opposition is strongest in rural areas, meaning that we still have a thriving prairie populist culture.

52% of urbanites favor the bill, and 9% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 33% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 61-33

40% of suburbanites favor the bill, and 12% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 42% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 52-42

34% of rural Americans favor the bill, and 29% oppose it for not being liberal enough. 32% oppose it for being too liberal.  Universal health care caucus: 63-32

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Comment Preferences

  •  perhaps 3% opposed it, but not because (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, Code Monkey, Rogneid, ban nock

    they thought it was either too liberal or not liberal enough, but for a different reason.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Tue May 28, 2013 at 09:36:46 PM PDT

  •  You neglected to mention (5+ / 0-)

    the demographic number that really sticks out in this survey:

    (From the article you link to) Only a third of whites support the law, compared to six in 10 non-whites

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Tue May 28, 2013 at 09:51:56 PM PDT

  •  I guess I'm one of those Republicans that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ahumbleopinion, AaronInSanDiego

    fascinate you as I favor a far more "liberal" healthcare policy.

    Here's the basic gist of my thinking.  I grew up a "conservative" (fiscally conservative, socially libertarian) and I have/had a strong bias against the concept of the government being able to do much right.  So there are significant hurdles to overcome that would make me consider, let alone support a single payer system.

    But when I examined my values what I have come to think is that perhaps the three most important aspects of a healthcare system are the degree of access to all citizens, the outcomes of the system, and the costs of the system.

    When framed in this way I explored how the various systems around the world performed in these three key areas.  What I found out rather surprised me.  It would seem that most other healthcare systems in the developed world are some version of single payer, they almost all have much greater access to all their citizens, they mostly have equal or better outcomes, and they do so at typically much lower costs.

    So, I looked at my values, looked at the data and determined that a single payer system is likely the best system for us to adopt.  I could go on further but that is my basic evolution on this issue.  The funny thing is that I still consider myself a "conservative" and I actually think that single payer is justified on conservative grounds.  Properly considered conservatism isn't about privatizing all government services.  It is figuring out what services and/or goods are better produced by the private sector and what are better produced by the government but understanding that most are likely to be better produced by the private sector.

    As it turns out, like fire departments, the military, etc. the healthcare  insurance system is better if it is produced by the government.  So I, like millions of "conservatives" in Japan, Canada, and Europe support single payer because it produces a better outcome despite my prior political bias against it.

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Wed May 29, 2013 at 05:17:45 AM PDT

    •  While I support your progressive vision about (3+ / 0-)

      health care......this sentence doesn't make much sense:
      "It is figuring out what services and/or goods are better produced by the private sector and what are better produced by the government but understanding that most are likely to be better produced by the private sector."

      This is the platform of the modern democratic party as it has moved to the right under Clinton and Obama.  This is not the modern Republican platform.....that one is summarized perfectly by this line:
      "Properly considered conservatism isn't about privatizing all government services"
      The modern Conservative doesn't believe that The Govt should be doing anything that would make people think more positively about the Govt....as they think that would benefit Dems.  They do want to privatize as much as possible under the false belief that market fundamentalism is actually a realistic way in which to interact with reality.  

      "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

      by Auburn Parks on Wed May 29, 2013 at 05:44:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diff between conservatives here and abroad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ahumbleopinion

      The conservative parties in Europe, for the most part, are Christian Democratic parties.  The CDU in Germany, for instance, were the ones who pioneered the concept of the "social market economy" in the postwar years.  Christian Democratic parties, because of a root in Catholic/Protestant social teaching, mitigate their economic conservatism with a belief in a safety net.  In the UK, it's slightly different.  The welfare state in the UK was designed by Liberals and implemented by both Liberals and Labourites.  The Tories don't like institutions like the NHS and have tried to commercialize, if not outright privatize, such services.

  •  recced for writing a substantive post (1+ / 0-)

    Pew of Kaiser Family Foundation has had ongoing in depth coverage of the issue as it has slid off the headlines to be supplanted by the latest headline de jour.

    Remember about single payer, it was only a compromise, I'd think single provider the goal. Single payer leaves in place much of the price gouging of special interests that drive prices so high. Removing the profit from much of medicine is needed long term.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:19:54 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

    all those not-very-well off folks in blood red states who vote against their own interests. Why do they feel that they should have staggering medical bills, while the "lazy" folks are on Medicaid (or have scammed their way onto early Medicare)? Do they consciously believe they deserve being screwed by the current system?

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