Friday, September 20, 2013

Obamacare should be a golden issue for Republicans in 2014. But they are screwing it up.

A man holds a sign at the Tea Party Patriots 'Exempt America from Obamacare' rally on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH CIVIL UNREST)Just 42 percent of those polled support the law while 52 percent disapprove. Dig into those numbers and a clear passion gap presents itself; 26 percent strongly support the law while 39 percent strongly oppose it. But, wait, there’s more. Thirty six percent believe the law has made the health care system worse while 19 percent think it’s made it better. (Among independents, just 16 percent think it has made things better while 35 percent say it has made things worse.)  Just nine percent of people said that the law had made their family’s health care costs better while 33 percent said it had made them worse. (Among independents, that was 10 percent better/34 percent worse.)

That set of numbers — combined with Obama’s middling popularity (47 percent approve/47 percent disapprove in the Post-ABC poll) — should be the main ingredients for Republican electoral success in a second term, midterm election like the one coming in 2014.
But, but, but. Republicans have chosen to fight on the one piece of ground that isn’t favorable to them on healthcare: tying its defunding to keeping the government open.
In that same Post-ABC poll that shows dire reviews for the health care law, just 27 percent of respondents want Congress to shut down the government rather than fund Obamacare. (To be clear: Republicans are emphasizing their desire to keep the government open but are simultaneously insisting that the legislation have defunding Obamacare tied to it, a non-starter for the Democratic Senate and White House.)

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