Despite the talk about the public’s supposed enthusiasm for repealing Obamacare, Michele Bachmann — a candidate who led the charge against health care reform and made repeal the cornerstone of her bid for the White House — has dropped out of the presidential the race after finishing dead last (among the contesting candidates) and winning just 6,073 votes in the Iowa caucuses.
While her bizarre concession speech contained some 11 references to the law and accused President Obama of instituting polices “based on socialism [that] are destructive to the very foundation of the Republic,” her pro-repeal message ultimately swayed few Iowans. Most split their votes between Mitt Romney — who instituted a very similar health measure in Massachusetts and until recently supported significant portions of the federal law — and Rick Santorum, a social conservative who echoes most of Bachmann’s anti-health care rhetoric.
But with the mother of health care repeal now out of the race, yesterday’s results showed that opponents of Obamacare don’t have rule of the roost, despite the GOP’s incessant attacks against Obama’s signature reform legislation. In fact, most Americans still support large portions of the law. The latest Kaiser tracking poll finds that while 44 percent of voters have an unfavorable view of reform, 50 percent want to expand or keep it in place, with only 37 percent supporting repeal. A majority favor its most popular elements like easy-to-understand benefit summaries and tax credits for small businesses.
Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich are still pledging to repeal the law on “day 1,” but Iowa showed that voters may be less enthused about that than they think.