Earlier in the week, Twitter was ablaze with a debate over Obamacare and public opinion: Was the Washington Post/ABC News poll purporting to show the law's approval slightly above water an outlier, or the beginning of a trend? I argued the former, citing a fresh CBS News survey that aligned with previous negative polling. The latest Quinnipiac poll should settle the debate. It pegs President Obama's approval rating underwater at 42/50, with Obamacare clocking in at 41/55. A few additional findings:
(1) Voters split roughly evenly on the generic Congressional ballot, with independents leaning toward the GOP by seven points. Approval of Congressional Republicans is deeper underwater than it is of Democrats, but that's because a majority of Republican voters disapprove of their own party. Democrats approve of their party by better than a two-to-one margin.
(2) Americans' assessments of how Obama is handling various issues is poor. He's at (40/55) on the economy, (39/58) on healthcare, and (39/55) on foreign policy. On the situation in Ukraine, Obama fares slightly better, but is still upside down (41/47).
(3) Independents disapprove of Obamacare (35/59) with more overall voters saying they'd be more likely to support a candidate who opposes the law (40 percent) than who supports it (27 percent). By a similar margin, Americans say they're more inclined to back a candidate who opposes, rather than supports, President Obama generally.
It's entirely conceivable that following Democrats' wild (and disproportionate) celebration yesterday, they may get a bump -- if only by invigorating their base. Obama certainly spiked the football enough to send a clear signal (via Grabien):
As the first Obamacare enrollment period comes to a close, U.S. insurers are already anticipating the need to raise prices for 2015 and fear that it will put them at the center of the political blame game over President Barack Obama's healthcare law....Insurers have already said that the first group of new enrollees under Obamacare, as the law is widely known, represent a higher rate of older and costlier members than hoped. To keep their health plans from losing money in the coming years, many expect monthly premium rates to rise by double-digit percentages in some parts of the country. That could set the stage for a public outcry ahead of congressional elections this year, giving ammunition to Republicans and creating new friction with the White House that could endure into the 2016 presidential election. "I do think that it's likely premium rate shocks are coming. I think they begin to make themselves at least partially known in 2015 and fully known in 2016," said Chet Burrell, chief executive officer of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
And this (seriously, watch this):