Patterico's Pontifications


ObamaCare: Public opinion and Voter opinion

Filed under: General — Karl @ 7:19 am

[Posted by Karl]

The following, courtesy of, are a series of poll averages measuring opinion about ObamaCare.


This is the basic poll of polls, including different types of samples, polling methodologies, and question wording, showing 50.5% disapprove, 43.7% approve.

Folks on the left do not like that graph very much. People like Andrew Sullivan and Taegan Goddard do not like Rasmussen Reports, without which the poll of polls would look like this:


Obviously, lefties would prefer a mere two-point gap in disapproval, but is there really a non-partisan argument to be made for excluding Rasmussen?

Scott Rasmussen explains that the difference between his polls and others is that he polls Likely Voters, as opposed to adults, or even Registered Voters. Coming fresh off an election, it is useful to look at how the poll of polls changes if you exclude polls of adults, and look only at polls of voters:


Liberals will not like that at all, but what happens if you exclude the evil Rasmussen from this group?


Oops! Disapproval drops by about a point, but support drops almost five points.

A more nuanced criticism of the Rasmussen polling is the IVR “robocalling” method. Indeed, Obama supporters whined about Democratic polling firm PPP for “robocalling” voters after both firms started producing lower job approval numbers for Obama, though the method cannot be determined to cause the lower results, given the differences in samples, questions, etc. As it happens, the robopolls did pretty well in calling the off-year elections. But just for the sake of argument, what happens if you take out Rasmussen and PPP (and other party-linked polls, since PPP is a Dem outfit), leaving live, non-party polls of voters?


In short, no matter how you slice it, polls of voters show increasing, majority disapproval of ObamaCare, however much folks on the left would like to ignore it. That may not stop House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from trying to jam through her bill on Saturday night, assuming she has moved enough of the undecideds and supposed pro-lifers. But it may explain why senior Congressional Democrats see the Senate’s work on ObamaCare slipping into 2010.


32 Responses to “ObamaCare: Public opinion and Voter opinion”

  1. my fear is that the dems are just crazy enough to try it anyway.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  2. ya but, if you go back to Feb, 50% approved! And since some of the wording in the bill comes from a version that was being discussed in February, it stands to reason that that poll would be the most accurate and therefore the only one to be recognized.

    You are trying to confuse the issue with other, meaningless data.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  3. I think the health care bills are dead but they will be gnawed by dogs until the 2010 election. Harry Reid will be saying next April that the bill just needs a few more weeks to work out details. If they are clever (not smart) they will strip out all the details and pass something that accomplishes nothing but can be called “reform.” It’s conceivable that could happen by summer to try to keep the left on board.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  4. These polls are nothing but lies – we all know that a solid majority of the public wants a huge health care bill and a massive Cap ‘n Crunch to atone for our sinful ways against Mother Gaia.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  5. Corwin, thanks for commenting. I needed a chuckle at some wild eyed obamabot this morning.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  6. I cannot believe 40% of the people support this monstrosity. But then again, half of people are below average in intelligence.

    I would believe 50% or more support healthcare reform; because that, at least, sounds like a good thing. But these plans being put forth are in no way to be considered “reform”, as most people understand it.

    Thomas (a3c869)

  7. I think the health care bills are dead but they will be gnawed by dogs until the 2010 election.

    The Democrats have no choice but to pass some form of extended socialized health care payment plan by September, at the very latest, or MoveOn and the Kos-ites are going to be coming after them with brickbats.

    Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what they pass–any further government spending on healthcare is unsustainable over the long run. Between the national debt, Social Security, and Medicare Parts A, B, and D, the government has over $140 trillion (yes, that’s trillion) in debt and unfunded liabilities. Anyone who argues that the US can cover these obligations plus complete and total healthcare for an additional tens of millions, in perpetuity, is living in Fantasyland.

    Anyone who thinks that a government which can’t contain tens of billions in fraud, waste, and abuse in military spending programs, housing credit applications, and Medicare will somehow be able to eliminate or reduce the same in a nationalized healthcare system is too short-sighted and ignorant to be taken seriously.

    Either the system will totally collapse under the weight of its current and future financial obligations, or we will become vassals to other nations, staving off the collapse until a few decades later. Unfortunately for the “public option” supporters, the math dictates that any program the Dems enact cannot be sustained over the long term, and the math doesn’t care how much they or anyone else suffers.

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  8. “Corwin, thanks for commenting. I needed a chuckle at some wild eyed obamabot this morning.”

    – GM Roper

    Man… you guys really are bad at recognizing your own folks, aren’t you?

    Leviticus (30ac20)

  9. It Doesn’t Matter What the Polls Say

    Obama would appreciate the fig leaf of polls reflecting popular approval, but It Doesn’t Matter.

    Remember that the Democrat party has been waiting for decades for this perfect storm of control in DC to be in their favor. They have completely shredded the Constitution in advancement of their agenda and will not let a little thing like public opposition slow, let alone stop, their fundamental transformation of America.

    Expect legislation in 2013 to ban the release of unfavorable public polling results…

    in_awe (a55176)

  10. The Democrats have made some immense errors in the process by which they have conceived and promoted their reform.

    The fact that they don’t actually know what they can pass, and so don’t know what to sell to the electorate, has been making them look confused and incompetent.

    That the White House has been cheerleading and not actually leading has become obvious as well. The people are realizing that Obama really had no concrete proposals and is winging it and that decreases confidence.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  11. The problem for the Dems is that they all don’t come from a reliably insane Pelosi style district. Some of them may actually face opposition next election. So Madame speaker can be as crazy as she wants to be, that doesn’t mean the rest of the Dems will follow her off that particular cliff.

    Mike Giles (39c34b)

  12. As has been explained by various pundits in the past, the Democrat/Obama reasoning is that HillaryCare failed in 1993 BECAUSE they made their plan public. Making the plan public gave their enemies information about it, so it could be shot down.

    So they based their strategy this time on withholding information and voting on it without anyone being able to know anything about it. If you don’t know anything about it you can’t attack any specific points. You get to say ‘It’s health care reform, how can you be against that?!?!’ and you hope that that’s the end of it.

    At least, that was the plan. And this is where it leads.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  13. Corwin, If I’ve maligned you I apologize. OTOH your comment re: the polls makes no sense at all. other polls with differing methodologies and questions reflect CHANGES in peoples thinking and current thinking is what the Dems will rely on. What people thought 10 months ago has little to no bearing on the issue as dems constantly have their finger in the wind of public opinion.

    GM Roper (85dcd7)

  14. The Tea Party is out protesting today. Democrats are locking their Congressional District doors!

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  15. The Tea Party is out protesting today.

    And the AARP and AMA are busy formally endorsing health care reform. I’d wager the AARP and AMA have more juice with the Dems than Michelle Bachmann and the far right-wingers. Just a guess.

    Hoyer says he’s got 218 for Saturday. I expect he does. We’ll see.

    It still doesn’t solve the problem in the Senate.

    Myron (6a93dd)

  16. National polls have no bearing on this or any other issue. A Congressman or Senator only cares about the sentiment in their district or state… and we don’t know what the breakdown is for Congressmen and Senators up for re-election next year.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  17. Michelle Bachmann and the far right-wingers.

    What’s your definition of a far right winger?

    Gerald A (138c50)

  18. GM Roper – I forgot to type /SNARK again. :-)

    I have poked fun at polls in the past, I was being sarcastic again. I’ve been maligned for decades… by the Federal Government. All of us have. So to add one more person maligning me – not a big deal. Oops, snarked again. Apology not needed but accepted.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  19. Myron,

    The AMA endorsement is based on an expectation of getting its doc fix, which isn’t in the House bill (and is not even scheduled for mark-up by the Rules cmte). It will likely be a GOP amendment in the Senate, which will give the Dems a choise of exploding the cost of the bill or screwing the AMA. Popcorn!

    The AARP has always been behind the bill, because they stand to make a lot of money from it. Seniors, however, are one of the biggest demos against ObamaCare. Dems have to wonder what good the AARP is doing them.

    Pelosi says today she “will” have the votes, which suggests she doesn’t now. Though I expect enough pro-lifers will be bought off with the Ellsworth amendment to squeak it through.

    As you say, the problem is in the Senate.

    Karl (f07e38)

  20. steve sturm,

    National polls are of limited use, which is why I blogged to Democracy Corps polling of swing districts recently.

    That being said, swing districts as a group will more likely than not tend to roughly mirror the national averages. That’s what makes ’em swing districts.

    Moreover, one can hypothesize that the numbers in districts with Dem Reps won by McCain in ’08 (and Bush in ’04) are likely worse than the national numbers. And there are 60+ of those.

    Karl (f07e38)

  21. The AMA and AARP endorsements matter only to the extent they give wavering Congressmen the spine to vote yes. the question, will they? or will they look past the endorsements at how their constituents feel?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  22. That being said, swing districts as a group will more likely than not tend to roughly mirror the national averages. That’s what makes ‘em swing districts.

    I don’t think this is necessarily true, does the composition of swing districts mirror that of the country as a whole?

    I do agree that as a rule, Dems representing red/purple districts should be paying careful attention to their voters.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  23. The more the Bill is defined, and the more that information is made known to the public, the greater the public will be against it. The Federal Government has a perfect track record of doing less for more. No sarcasm – that’s the honest truth.

    The Dems may jam this bill in without regards to public feelings.

    Things will get worse. This is just the Indian Summer before a long, cold winter.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  24. Was the CBO number for this new monstrosity $1,200,000,000,000 ?

    JD (8a886b)

  25. The Dems may jam this bill in without regards to public feelings

    to be accurate, the Dems may jam this bill in without regards to moderate and conservative feelings… the liberals are pretty much on board.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  26. And the AARP and AMA are busy formally endorsing health care reform. I’d wager the AARP and AMA have more juice with the Dems than Michelle Bachmann and the far right-wingers. Just a guess.

    The AMA and AARP are bleeding members so fast they may not last until the next election. I am getting solicitations to join the AMA (which I quit 20 years ago) every week if not sooner. There is a fax in the machine behind me from them. They are generals without an army., which is the on-line replacement for the AMA now has a five unit CME program on-line on how to convert your practice to cash only. I can’t link it as it is member only but here is the intro.

    The Cash Only Practice: Reinventing an Old Practice Model

    This first module in the New Business of Medicine Series covers the cash only practice model. It is presented by practice management experts Dr. Ronald Barg of The University of Pennsylvania and Dr. L. Gordon Moore of the Ideal Medical Practices movement. Physicians are motivated in increasing numbers to reject insurance and the associated fee-for-service payment model that results in spending less time with patients and more time on administrative tasks. As an alternative, some choose the cash only model where patients pay fees directly to the physician, obviating the need to bill insurance companies.

    This educational module discusses the ethical considerations as well as the pros and cons of cash only practices from the physician and patient perspectives. The challenges of transitioning to a cash only practice are considered including planning, messaging to patients, marketing and potential pitfalls.

    Case studies are presented by two physicians currently running successful cash-only practices. Dr. Steven Horvitz and Dr. Michelle Eads share why they transitioned to cash only, specifics of their offerings to patients, how they established their pricing, revenue projections and how their decisions have resulted in better patient care.

    This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Sermo. The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    I think this is the health reform we will see, regardless of what Nancy’s troops pass.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  27. Geez, are you folks REALLY this dense? offers these supposed averages on the premise that all polls are equal, whether they were unscientific “internet polls,” credible, reliable pollsters, health-industry-paid-and-crafted polls, and so forth – all equally credible.

    I mean, I DO understand how hard it is to cobble together stats that at least appear to support your absurd premise, but maybe y’all could be a little less blatant in the desperation?

    Buster (424744)

  28. Teach us, Oh Great Leader!
    Show us the errors of our ways, and lead us to the Promised Land of green fields, babbling brooks, and mindless Obamabots.

    AD - RtR/OS! (0a796c)

  29. Care to substantiate any of those asspulls, buster?

    JD (8d300f)

  30. Trying to sell us on PelosiObamaCare with another Medicare Lie…

    Yahoo, the online cheerleader and megaphone for Pelosi and Obama came out with another AP article which shows the lengths these twits will go to in trying to sell us another ice cube in hell.  The article in big scary sounding words was aptl….

    A Study in Occam's Razor (f69102)

  31. […] I previously addressed lefty complaints about Rasmussen’s polling on ObamaCare, finding them […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » An in-depth look at Rasmussen and vintage Democratic whine (e2f069)

  32. […] I previously addressed lefty complaints about Rasmussen’s polling on ObamaCare, finding them […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » An in-depth look at Rasmussen and vintage Democratic whine (e4ab32)

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