By Dave Andrusko
Supporters of ObamaCare, particularly those in the mainstream media, have tried in recent months to convince the public that a corner has been turned and, far from being a huge detriment to Democrats running in November, ObamaCare is, at worse a wash, at best, a net benefit. We’ve written many posts demonstrating that this la-la land analysis is absurd on its face.
To be fair, the Washington Post ran a piece yesterday that pulled the curtain back—actually, all the way back. The headline to the story written by Aaron Blake was perfect: “Obamacare isn’t motivating Democrats. Like at all.”
The analysis of several polls is helpful on a number of counts. For example, the barebones numbers.
“[A] new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that about three times as many Republicans view Obamacare as one of the most important issues in the 2014 campaign as Democrats who say the same.” Blake is not sidetracked by a different number coming from another poll which surveyed a different universe of people ; he aptly concludes, “raw anti-Obamacare advantage is about the same in each poll, approximately three-to-one.”
There are important distinctions that often get lost, but not by Blake. He writes
While support for Obamacare has generally been in the low 40s, only about half of supporters think it will actually be a net-positive over the long haul and make things better for their families’ health-care situations. … And even fewer — 14 percent — say they currently see benefits accruing. …. By contrast, a strong majority of those who oppose the law think it will have a negative effect on them over the long haul, and around half see it having negative impacts even as we speak.
If you are an ObamaCare booster (and especially a vulnerable Democrat running for re-election), these are frightening numbers.
Also, Blake keenly responded to supporters of ObamaCare who pointed out that more people (37%) feel ObamaCare will benefit the country than who believe it will be good for them personally. He writes
But we would argue that personal impact is much more important when it comes to enthusiasm and electoral impact.
In other words, opponents of the law are more numerous, more passionate and more dreadful of things to come. Supporters are fewer, less passionate and not terribly convinced that the program they support will even bear fruit.
In politics, voting against something is always a stronger motivating force than voting for something. That’s definitely the case when it comes to Obamacare.
And until/unless Democrats get fired up about Obamacare, they’re probably in trouble in the 2014 election.