Fox News' poll is likely to be one of the last major national surveys published before Christmas (WaPo/ABC News released theirs yesterday), and it's packed with interesting information on Obamacare. Let's take a peek under the hood:
(1) President Obama's overall job approval rating is weak (41/53), and a miserable (31/60) among independents. He's underwater with women (44/50) and young voters (37/53).
(2) On specific issues, Americans' appraisals of the president's performance is even worse. He's at (41/55) on the economy, (39/52) on foreign policy, (39/52) on job creation, (37/59) on healthcare -- mirroring the AP's latest numbers -- and (29/65) on deficits.
(3) On personal characteristics, Obama is upside-down on each question polled, from honesty (45/49) to decisiveness (47/51) to the majority (44/50) who call him a "typical politician."
(4) Just 38 percent of respondents say they're glad Obamacare passed in 2010, where as a 54 percent majority say they it had never happened. If forced to choose between keeping the law in place, and fully repealing it, the numbers break down along Obama's job approval lines. Forty-one percent choose the former option, 53 percent the latter.
(5) Here's the data point that should worry Democrats most, which is saying a lot in light of the public opinion Chernobyl I've laid out in points one through four: "Several provisions of the health care law have already been delayed. Setting aside how you feel about the law, do you think implementation of it should be delayed for a year until more details are ironed out, or not?" Response: 67 percent "yes," 28 percent "no." That "yes" coalition includes a majority of self-identified Democrats (54 percent), a plurality of blacks (48 percent), nearly two-thirds of women, and 70 percent of young people.
The broad consensus that exists around the idea of delaying the entirety of Obamacare for one full year is pretty rare in modern American politics. Anxious Senate Democrats have been floating various "fixes," postponements and extensions for weeks now. Polling results like this may only serve to fuel their worries, and therefore redouble their resolve. We've written a lot about how each of the supposed repairs that Democrats have suggested would severely undermine the law. But they're not interested in sound policy outcomes at this point; they're interested in political ass saving. Two-thirds of the public has now seen enough of Obamacare to conclude that it's not going to be a success anytime soon and should be punted into 2015. Such a punt would be logistically impossible to execute at this stage, would weaken the law's financial structure, and would keep the repeal drive alive. Have I mentioned that it's also super popular? How about some votes, Harry? Maybe Boehner could get the ball rolling. I'd bet there a few dozen House Democrats who'd be mighty tempted to pass a delay. I'll leave you with this ad, which is targeting a Senate Democrat who's just itching to "do something!"
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