The Corner

For Obamacare, the Honeymoon Is Already Over

Last week, I wrote that the Obamacare approval numbers were set for a nice slow decline. I may have been wrong, because they are already back underwater:

In the poll, 50% call passage of the bill “a bad thing” and 47% say it was “a good thing.” That’s at odds with the findings of a one-day USA TODAY Poll taken a week ago — a day after the U.S. House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill “a good thing.”

. . .The failure of the new law to get even plurality support is especially sobering for House Democrats from competitive congressional districts who heeded pleas from the White House and congressional leaders to vote “yes.” The legislation passed 219-212, with just three votes to spare.

“There was on the Democratic side a burst of enthusiasm after it passed saying, ‘Ah, now voters are being won over,’ ” says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies polling. “The cumulating data this past seven days says that, no, a miracle didn’t happen and the public didn’t suddenly change their views on this. It means that the Democrats still face a tough sell of a public close to evenly divided on this and even slightly more opposed than in favor, and that difficulty didn’t go away with passage.”

A one-day poll taken immediately after a major event is subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects, he says. On the day after the bill passed, he notes, “the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story and only a bit by the Republicans’ rebuttal to that.”

More here.

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