Poll: Democratic Candidates Hurt by Obamacare Support

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 10:56 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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An overwhelming percentage of registered voters have admitted that a candidate’s position on the troubled health care law will play an important part in deciding their vote in the upcoming elections, according to a new poll.

Republican senatorial candidates have been constantly hammering at Democrats who have supported Obamacare as the GOP bids to capture the Senate in November – and it appears from a USA Today/Pew Research Center poll that the tactic will pay big dividends.

The poll shows that more than eight out of every 10 voters say that the stance of a candidate in the midterms will play a key role in their decision-making on who to vote for in November.

The survey also found that 54 percent of respondents called it a "very important" part of their vote process, while two out very three people said they disapproved of Obamacare.

"That means it is more likely to motivate opponents than supporters to vote — a critical element in midterm elections when turnout often is low," wrote Susan Page of USA Today.

But Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, maintains that Obamacare will not be such a major issue in the election.

"Senate races are not a referendum on any one issue, and instead are a choice between the two people on the ballot," he told USA Today.

"Up and down the map, voters will choose between a Democrat who is fighting for their states and a Republican who has embraced a reckless and irresponsible budget that's good for the special interests and bad for their states," he said. "We're very confident that when faced with that contrast, voters will side with the Democratic candidate."

However, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, chairman of the Republicans' Senate campaign committee, agreed that a candidate’s stance on Obamacare will play a pivotal role in deciding Senate and House seats in November.

"If you don't care about Obamacare, you're less likely to vote," he said. "If you think Obamacare is good, it's not a big issue for you. But if you think it's bad, it's an intense one."

The survey was conducted after President Barack Obama’s announcement that 7.1 million people had signed up for his signature domestic policy by the March 31 deadline.

According to the poll’s results, 44 percent of registered voters believe that the overall effect of Obamacare in the future will mostly be a negative one, compared to 38 percent who didn’t think it would have such an effect.

The survey also found that 57 percent of Americans claim that they have not been affected by the law to date. On the other hand, they believe, by 35 percent to 29 percent, that it will have a detrimental effect on their lives in the future.

When it comes to how voters feel about whether Obamacare has affected the country as a whole, 43 percent believe it’s been negative while 30 percent says it’s been positive.

The survey also showed that Republicans disapprove of the law by a margin of 8-1 while Democrats support it by almost 5-1.

Of the registered voters in the poll, 42 percent said they were Republicans or right leaning while 39 percent said they were Democrats or left leaning.

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