ABC splits the lead for its report on the results of their joint poll with the Washington Post on ObamaCare — the one that had a sample skew of D+11, and which should have resulted in more favorable results for Barack Obama and his signature legislative accomplishment. Despite the skew, ObamaCare is as unpopular as ever, although the dog-in-the-manger effort by Obama and his Democratic allies to spin the eventual decision as political rather than legal appears to have worked:
Last month’s hearings on the constitutionality of health care reform didn’t help its popularity: Public support for Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation has hit a new low in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with criticism of the individual mandate as high as ever.
Half the public, moreover, thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the legislation on the basis of the justices’ partisan political views rather than the law. Fewer, 40 percent, think impartial legal analysis will carry the day, with the rest unsure.
Fifty-three percent of Americans now oppose the law overall, while just 39 percent support it – the latter the lowest in more than a dozen ABC/Post polls since August 2009. “Strong” critics, at 40 percent, outnumber strong supporters by nearly a 2-1 margin in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.
Two-thirds continue to say the high court should throw out either the entire law (38 percent) or at least the part that requires most individuals to obtain coverage (29 percent) or face a penalty; just a quarter want the court to uphold the law as is. Those numbers, like views on the law overall, are essentially unchanged from a month ago.
In fact, the only difference from a month ago is the sampling, which is much more favorable to Obama this time around. Clearly, the bill has become an albatross to Obama and his allies on Capitol Hill. The poll does not break down ObamaCare support along partisan lines, but when only 25% of respondents want the Supreme Court to maintain the law as it stands in a sample with a D/R/I of 34/23/34, it’s obviously underperforming even among Democrats.
Jay Cost picks up on other bad news, especially considering the sample skew:
On all of the most salient issues facing the electorate, we either see a statistical dead heat or a Romney advantage. And this is with Romney being bogged down for four months in a very nasty primary battle.
What to make of that topline between Obama and Mitt Romney, showing Obama up by seven points over the presumptive GOP nominee? Well, for starters a big part of Obama’s lead has to be chalked up to the hugely Democratic tilt of this poll. Pollsters with a more reasonable spread – in particular Gallup and Rasmussen – show a much tighter contest.
But the general election campaign has not actually begun. In fact, the playing field has been systematically stacked in favor of President Obama, who has been relentlessly campaigning while Romney has been mired in a messy primary battle. That is now set to change with Romney clearing out the GOP field.
Additionally, only about 10 to 15 percent of all voters are actually up for grabs in November, and they are hardly paying close attention just yet. Given that, I am much less interested in the head-to-head horse race number between Obama and Romney than I am in the details discussed above. To borrow a metaphor from economics, items like who voters trust more on creating jobs, whether they think the recession is over, or whether Obama is doing a good job dealing with the gas price surge are all “leading indicators” of where the race is going to head as we move forward through the cycle.
So, here’s my bottom line: ABC News/WaPo has again offered up a pro-Democratic sample that helps Team Obama spin the day’s news. Yet dig a little deeper, and there is bad news here for the president, even if his friends in the media do not want to talk about it.
Well, if they wanted to talk about it, they wouldn’t be retaining pollsters who deliver samples with such ridiculous skew, would they?
Addendum: Hugh Hewitt had WaPo’s Dan Balz on as a guest last night, and Hugh challenged him on the polling sample. I’m pretty sure that will go up today on their site.