Prior to a new spate of polls released this week, a core element of rhetoric by Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz and Speaker John Boehner was that Pres. Obama should “listen to the people” and kill the Affordable Care Act.
Now, however, polling indicates that it is the GOP that is not listening to people. They are on the wrong side of public opinion about defunding Obamacare as well as on their threats to close the government and/or ruin the credit-worthiness of the United States by forcing a default on the national debt.
- CNBC: Solid majority opposes defunding Obamacare:
A solid majority of Americans oppose defunding the new health care law if it means shutting down the government and defaulting on debt.
The CNBC All-America Economic Survey … finds that, in general, Americans oppose defunding Obamacare by a plurality of 44 percent to 38 percent.
Opposition to defunding increases sharply when the issue of shutting down the government and defaulting is included. In that case, Americans oppose defunding 59 percent to 19 percent, with 18 percent of respondents unsure. The final 4 percent is a group of people who want to defund Obamacare, but become unsure when asked if they still hold that view if it means shutting down the government.
- National Journal: Majorities oppose GOP shut-down strategy:
Republicans, take note. Americans might not like President Obama’s signature health care law, but they don’t dislike the massive program enough to risk a government shutdown over efforts to unravel it.
[An] overwhelming majority of Americans prefer the Senate’s approach to the government-funding negotiations: 63 percent said Congress should “provide the funding to keep the government operating and deal with the health care issue separately.” Only 27 percent said “only fund the continuing operations of the federal government if Obama agrees to delay or withdraw his health care plan.”
Even Republicans are skeptical of the House GOP’s approach. A majority, 51 percent, said Congress should keep the two issues separate, while 42 percent said a continuing resolution should be passed only if Obama agrees to defund the health care law.
- Bloomberg: Americans reject GOP campaign to end Obamacre:
[By] a margin of 50 percent to 43 percent, Americans say congressional Republicans should accept that it’s the law of the land …
A 40 percent plurality doesn’t know enough about the law to say what effect it will have on them. That’s after critics have outspent supporters by as much as 5 to 1, according to [Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group], which estimates $500 million has been spent on political and advocacy ads related to the law in the past three years.
“What’s turned people off is probably more likely the residue of hundreds of millions of dollars of negative advertising and negative opinion and business press, practically unanswered until just recently,” says Wilner.
- CBS/NY Times: Plurality would blame GOP for a shutdown:
If the government shuts down, the Republicans in Congress may take more of the blame: 44 percent of Americans say they would blame the Republicans in Congress more if there is a partial shutdown of the federal government on Oct. 1, while fewer – 35 percent – would put more of the blame on Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress. Sixteen percent volunteer that they would blame both sides equally.
When the government did shut down after a similar budget battle back in November 1995, 51 percent of Americans blamed the Republicans in Congress, while 28 percent blamed Bill Clinton.
- Gallup: Support for tea party is down to its lowest level:
Fewer Americans now describe themselves as supporters of the Tea Party movement than did at the height of the movement in 2010, or even at the start of 2012. Today’s 22 percent support nearly matches the record low found two years ago.
In November 2010, days after the Republicans recaptured the majority in the House of Representatives, 32 percent of Americans pledged support for the Tea Party, or 10 percentage points higher than in the latest survey, conducted Sept. 5-8.
In addition to their overall advantage in numbers, opponents of the Tea Party also lead supporters in intensity. The majority of Tea Party opponents call themselves strong opponents, while supporters are evenly divided as strong and not strong supporters. The net result is that 17 percent of Americans consider themselves strong opponents of the Tea Party, contrasted with 11 percent who are strong supporters, similar to the balance seen in 2011.
The Republican agenda in the president’s first term, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put it, was to make Obama a one-term president. Having failed at that, they are now attempting to hobble his second term, and his legacy, by ensuring that his signature healthcare law fails — even though its failure would come at the expense of millions of their own constituents who are currently priced out of the healthcare market.
Now, with enrollment in the ACA exchanges set to open in a few days, Republicans have become increasingly desperate — so desperate that they are threatening the president with shutting the federal government down and/or ruining the credit-worthiness of the United States if he does not bend to their will and repeal the law. They understand that they must kill Obamacare now or risk being exposed as liars for having uniformly described the ACA as a socialist government takeover of the healthcare industry.
They are also desperate to kill the law before it can be shown to be effective in bringing down the cost of insurance and becomes popular. “If we’re going to repeal it, we’ve got to do so now or it will remain with us forever,” Sen. Ted Cruz, said this summer, because after it goes into effect and the exchanges and subsidies are in effect and prices start to go down, Americans will be “hooked on Obamacare so that it can never be unwound.”