The 40 Percent

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"The 40 Percent"

New poll numbers (PDF) from CNN. The topline number for the Affordable Care Act looks bad, 39% favor it with 59% opposed. Another way of looking at it, however, is that 43 percent think it’s too liberal, 39 percent think it’s just right, and 13 percent think it’s not liberal enough. That suggests to me that running on a promise to shift health policy to the right is not much of a winning strategy.

Similarly, “Who do you trust more to handle major changes in the country’s health care system – Barack Obama or the Republicans in Congress?” 51 percent trust Obama and 39 percent trust Republicans in Congress. That suggests to me that running on a promise to join Congressional Republicans in an effort to fight Barack Obama’s health care ideas is not much of a winning strategy.

But how about Congressional Democrats? “Who do you trust more to handle major changes in the country’s health care system — the Democrats in Congress or the Republicans in Congress?” Well, 45 percent trust the Democrats and 39 percent trust the Republicans.

The best news for repealers is that only 19 percent say they think the Affordable Care Act will make their family better off. At the same time, an additional 42 percent say it will make other families better off. Just 37 percent say it will make nobody better off.

There’s a pattern here. Basically about 40 percent of the public agrees with the conservative take on the bill. The range between the 37 percent who say the Affordable Care Act will make nobody better off and the 42 percent who say the ACA is too liberal is pretty small. And smack in the middle are the 39 percent who trust Republicans in congress more than Democrats in congress or more than Obama. The GOP is destined to make substantial gains in the midterms, but when you talk about repealing the ACA, you’re talking about going to war with 40 percent of the country on your side.

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