Gallup found 46 percent of those surveyed agreeing with the Supreme Court’s ruling and 46 percent disagreeing. An overwhelming 79 percent of Democrats agreed with the decision as did 45 percent of independents but only 13 percent of Republicans. Gallup said the results were consistent with its polling earlier this year that showed Americans were about equally split on whether the health care law was good or bad.
The division between Democrats and Republicans stands out starkly in another issue in the Gallup sampling. Overall, 25 percent favored expanding the federal government’s role in health care, 13 percent said keep the law in place, 21 percent wanted to repeal parts of the law, and 31 percent said the entire law should be repealed.
A whopping 45 percent of Democrats said they would like an expanded government role in health care, 20 percent wanted to keep Obamacare, 20 percent wanted to repeal parts and 7 percent, repeal entirely. Republicans were the opposite with 68 percent favoring outright repeal, 17 percent for repealing parts, while 5 percent said keep the law and 6 percent favored a bigger government role.
Contrasting Gallup’s results, Rasmussen’s poll after the Supreme Court ruling showed 54 percent wanted the law repealed versus 39 percent supporting it — precisely the split right after the law passed. Rasmussen’s polls, taken about every two weeks since the law was enacted, show sentiment for repeal falling below 50 percent only once in two years with the percentage often over 55 percent and at times hitting 60 percent or more.
“The law has already lost in the court of public opinion,” pollster Scott Rasmussen wrote on his firm’s website. “The Supreme Court ruling is a temporary reprieve more than anything else. In March, I wrote that the health care law was doomed even if it survived the court. Looking at the data today, it’s hard to draw any other conclusion.”
He added, “It’s hard to believe that public opinion will change between now and Election Day because opinion on the law hasn’t budged in two years.” And that spells trouble for Obama’s reelection bid. “The fact that the law remains in place may end up hurting the president’s chances for reelection more than helping them,” Rasmussen said.
Even so, Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll Saturday showed Obama with 46 percent of the vote to Romney’s 44 percent (6 percent undecided, 4 percent prefer someone else). And consider that Gallup’s early June survey showed a mixed bag on the personal qualities of the candidates. Fifty-eight percent said Obama “understands the problems Americans face in their daily lives” versus 46 percent for Romney. On “shares your values,” it was 53-45 Obama. But Romney scored well as a “strong and decisive leader,” 55-53 percent, and “can manage government effectively,” 53-45 percent.
Bottom line: Tax or not, Obama will not be easy to beat.