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Republicans Successful in Convincing Republicans to Hate ACA

By Ryan McNeely

A new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation contains more evidence that the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act is doomed: support for the law is up to 50% while opposition has dropped to a surprising low of 35%. Independents split 48/37 in favor. But the Republican campaign to mislead the public about the contents of ACA has been successful in one respect:

Though the legislative battle is over, the political tug-of-war continues. Democrats and Republicans have been fighting to shape public opinion on the issue in hopes of influencing the fall elections.

Among Republicans, opposition to the law remained steady at 69 percent, but the intensity of that opposition ticked upward. Fifty-three percent of Republicans said they had a “very unfavorable” opinion of the law this month, up from 50 percent in June.

Of course, if the Republican base is now super-duper opposed to ACA, that could have turnout implications. But people whose intensity of opposition to ACA is increasing are a shrinking minority, can’t vote twice, and were unlikely to ever vote for Democrats.

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I think the news will continue to get even better for ACA supporters, as “the public remains split into rough thirds as to whether the law will leave their own family better off, worse off or unchanged,” and many people still hold incorrect views about the bill’s contents, including 36% of seniors who as Igor Volsky notes have fallen for “death panel” smears. These numbers will likely improve as more of the bill’s components come online, and seniors see for themselves.