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A man hides from the rain under his sign at a Tea Party Patriots rally calling for the repeal of the 2010 healthcare law championed by President Barack Obama, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 24, 2012.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Promises, promises.
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.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Mon May 05, 2014 at 08:44:27 AM PDT

  •  We talk all the time about (10+ / 0-)

    the enthusiasm gap, and how hard it is to GOTV on the Democratic side.  I think it's time to consider the possibility that what the GOP really fears is an enthusiasm gap on THEIR side, with the Tea Partiers sitting it out.  The Republicans are, IMO, casting about for ways to keep the Tea Party engaged.  I'm not sure they can do it now that the ACA is working.

    "Get over it...and get out of the way." -- Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY)

    by mspicata on Mon May 05, 2014 at 08:54:29 AM PDT

  •  notwithstanding their "problems", they lead in (9+ / 0-)

    the polls for November, including in enthusiasm about voting.

    Late in a basketball or football game, with time winding down, it is better to be in the position of the team leading rather than in the position of the team that is behind.

    That's how I feel - while month after month passes.  We keep reassuring ourselves that the GOP has boxed itself into a corner on Obamacare. But with the clock winding down, poll after poll after poll continues to show this November will have better news for Republicans than for we Democrats.

    I'm still writing checks (and giving on line via ActBlue), will be making GOTV calls on May 20 for the PA primary and on Nov 4 for the general election, still talking up voting to everyone I know (friends, family, neighbors (except the GOP ones), barber, dry cleaner, pest control guy, even ExPat people who now live outside the USA who can still vote in federal elections from overseas - but I REALLY wish we'd start seeing at least SOME polls turning around in OUR favor.

    •  Yeah, the recent polling has been pretty (5+ / 0-)


      It seems like things have actually slipped from Dec/Jan, despite better ACA news.

      Only good thing I can say, is that except for WaPo poll, Obama's approval has been relatively stable.

      •  That is why dems need to hit hard on (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sotiredofusernames, 1Nic Ven

        the great things afforded in the ACA. We cannot sit back and expect "lazy" voters to remember or even reward us for it...they need to be reminded over and over.
        -But interestingly I think I heard on MSNBC that dems were never rewarded immediately after the passage medicare and that it was quite the reverse.
        -Maybe this is what would happen with Obamacare.
        -That the rewards would be yrs down the line...

        "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

        by tuma on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:16:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The main problem with diaries like this is that it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, AlexDrew

      equates what people think about Obamacare with what people will do in the voting booth in November. First of all, that kind of correlation is difficult if not dangerous. Second, people continue to forget that few voters were actually impacted by the law. The vast majority of people saw no change at all in their insurance coverage.

      If somebody polls newly insured ACA voters and finds that they are rabid Democrats all of a sudden, then maybe we've got some good news. But otherwise, the fact that people STILL poll against the ACA is worse than troubling for November---it's borderline catastrophic.

      •  I don't know about catastrophic (0+ / 0-)

        Because how many voters' votes actually hinge on how they feel about the ACA.  But it has never been popular, and I doubt it will ever be.  This is not Medicare we're talking about it.  That lack of popularity has been a weight on Democrats for 4+ years now.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:16:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But it is so skewed by Republicans news bubble (0+ / 0-)

        I mean look at those numbers: 88% of Republicans disapprove of a bill - that in their newsbubble - has death panels (yes 34% still believe that!) and they believe - they are told- it raises taxes for them, so of course that brings the average disapproval up over 50%.

        But only Democrats get the actual facts. Republicans are never going to vote for Democrats anyway.

        Thanks Democrats! My Obamacare is permanent coverage no one can take away - and saving $3,000 is nice too

        by sotiredofusernames on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:56:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But doesn't the disapprove lump in the deadenders (5+ / 0-)

    with those who want more (like single payer)?

  •  Benghazi has killed more Americans than Obamacare (4+ / 0-)

    So far.

  •  It's pretty silly to ask a general (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    untorqued, RiveroftheWest, gffish

    Question like " Do you support Obamacare without asking if the respondent thinks it goes too far or doesn't go far enough in coverage.

    •  What does it matter at this point? People (0+ / 0-)

      who vote on this issue will do so based their perception of the law. As each month passes, and we get closer to November, its about enthusiasm, not a follow-up question on a poll.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Mon May 05, 2014 at 01:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't call this thrilling news (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tuma, gffish, sotiredofusernames

    Most Democrats still seem to be afraid of their own shadow - let alone Obamacare.
    It was heartening to see the fellow in Alaska with a positive ad.

    I'd really like to see ads attacking Republicans for wanting to deny healthcare to their constituents.

    Ahhhh well.

    It almost seems like the news is that Republicans are just as inept as Democrats.

  •  From reading the poll, the ACA appears (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommy2tone, tuma, madronagal, AlexDrew

    to be more of a dilemma for Democrats than Republicans.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:08:39 AM PDT

    •  Exactly.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We keep saying how it is working, yet the message is not getting through to the public.

      I think we are going to get trashed in November.

      ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

      by tommy2tone on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:18:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There aren't many more House seats (0+ / 0-)

        the Republicans can gain.  And even in '10, Democrats showed themselves able to hold on to some senate seats despite the unfavorable atmosphere.

        So I don't see it as the negative it was in 2010.  Though it certainly doesn't help.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:24:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is some good news (0+ / 0-)

          We have the President to keep them in check, and in 2016 the GOP will get trashed.

          So even if they control the house and senate, it won't be for long.


          ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

          by tommy2tone on Sun May 11, 2014 at 11:11:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But any dem who thinks they can run away from this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      law and as dumb as a brick...
      -For better for worse, dems have Obamacare imprinted on their foreheads like a scarlet letter.
      -Show any squishiness and repugs would pounce. You have to embrace and tell..yes tell over and over lazy people who don't follow policy debate exactly what it'd be surprised that over 50% of Americans cannot say one provision in that law.
      ...but pretty much everyone has heard of death panels and government takeover...
      --But have the dems started their own ad blitz yet? Know the Kochs got out the gate ever since...

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:26:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ... and the imbecile could be heard, (0+ / 0-)

    after jumping off the tall office building, reassuring himself as he passed each floor on the way down to the pavement, "So far, so good."

  •  It burns me that of the 41 percent ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madronagal, gffish

    About, what?  7-10-12? ... are Democrats still waiting for the single-payer pony.

    So it looks like the country still hates the law.  

    41-55 blows, and gives the media and GOP ammo.  

    With all the good this law does, I still always expect the hard-core 40 percent will hate anything Obama does.  But why a quarter of Democrats?  Hate it if you must, as insufficiently pie-in-the-sky and death-to-insurers, but lie to the pollsters at least.  

    And I mean that.

    You're Democrats, right?

    •  Why a quarter of Democrats? (0+ / 0-)
      With all the good this law does, I still always expect the hard-core 40 percent will hate anything Obama does.  But why a quarter of Democrats?
      Because it's a shitty law and not everyone is willing to put party over principle.

      And the fact that you want people to lie to pollsters about it just shows how completely the left has sold its soul on this issue.

      •  Not to the 8 million now covered (0+ / 0-)

        And many more millions in the near future.

        I guess that's where I different on 'soul.'  I can't accept millions without meaningful health insurance simply because the legislation isn't perfect.

        Neither was Social Security, by a long shot.  It improved over time.  It's made a massive difference to the country.

        We waited 60 years for meaningful reform.  And while some call it 'shitty,' sorry; I don't.  

        •  Actually (0+ / 0-)
          I can't accept millions without meaningful health insurance simply because the legislation isn't perfect.
          Actually, that's exactly what you're doing, because the ACA doesn't even cover everyone.

          The Democrats could have and should have passed Medicare for all--true universal coverage that would have provided quality care to everyone who needed it. If they had, they would have had near-universal support from Democrats and a good majority of independents, too. As it stands, the problems they are having with public support for the law are entirely their own fault, because they put the profits of the private insurance companies ahead of the public's well-being.

          •  The millions who have GAINED it (0+ / 0-)

            And I'm pretty sure you know that's what I meant.

            Also ... 'could have passed' Medicare for all.  

            This is utter nonsense.  

            •  Not nonsense (0+ / 0-)

              The Democrats had the majorities in Congress, and the White House. They could have passed anything they wanted. The only reason we didn't get Medicare for all is because the Democrats didn't want to pass it.

              Instead, they passed a plan that puts the insurance companies first and doesn't even achieve universal coverage. And like it or not, that's the reason a substantial number of Democrats don't approve of it.

  •  Hopefully the joke isn't on us (0+ / 0-)

    Polls have been lousy this week for the midterms. We've seen this movie before. The Republicans don't give a shit about how unpopular their policies are, they just want back in power.

  •  I think those numbers are disingenuous... (0+ / 0-)

    They need to stop making a poll of like/dislike. It doesn't give the true sentiment of how Americans truly feel about the health care law. We've known this for years now. The questions should include more than like/dislike and also include right direction/wrong direction. When asked that way, suddenly those disapprove numbers tank. There are many on the left that dislike the program but for most of us it's because the Dems spent so much time adding things to draw Repubs over to their side knowing full well there was nothing that would ever get them to accept it even if it was their policy to begin with. Personally, I'd prefer medicare for all more like the entirety of the industrial world. We're the only ones that seem to continue to believe that a for profit health care system is one that will benefit us. If a for profit prison system leads to a demand for prisoners and a military/industrial complex leads to unnecessary wars, why in the world would you trust a for profit system that benefits more if you get sick and stay sick versus a public one that needs to get you well as quickly as possible to not tax the system's solvency?

  •  Independents (0+ / 0-)

    If those "claiming to be independents" truly were "[a] bloc of voters that refuses to admit they're really Republicans", then based on voter registration statistics, Democrats would be dead on arrival.

    Independents include people who think there's some middle ground that will make everyone happy; they include people too wishy-washy to invest in picking sides on issues and instead vote for people they "trust" or think are "likable"; and they include people who sympathize with one party's policy but think leaders of that party are liars, assholes, selfish, and corrupt.

    Maybe that last category is the home of the people you describe, but they aren't even a majority of self-identified independents - there are nearly as many non-Democrat Democrats as there are non-Republican Republicans. And they all have reasons they believe are valid for identifying the way they do.

    Those who ignore the future are condemned to repeat it.

    by enigmamf on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:05:48 PM PDT

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