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Monday, September 30, 2013

On Govt. Shutdown, GOP Represents the Lunatic Fringe

When I first read about the poll, I completely dismissed it as ridiculously inaccurate.

ThinkProgress: ...[T]he vast majority of Americans still don’t want Congress to delay or defund the health reform law, according to the results from a new tracking poll.

The Morning Consult group finds that just seven percent of voters support delaying or defunding Obamacare. On the other hand, 39 percent of voters want Congress to either let the law take effect or expand the law even further. Another 29 percent think that Congress should work on making improvements to Obamacare, but ultimately leave the law in place. By a two to one margin, the poll’s respondents said “the results from the 2012 presidential election represented a referendum on moving forward with the Affordable Care Act.”

In a memo regarding the new results, the Morning Consult group notes that voters have ultimately been “unmoved by three months of the defund argument.”
That 7% pro-defund/delay Obamacare percentage seems to me to be ridiculously low. But a redditor linked to a CNN poll [pdf] to point out something that's been true from the gitgo -- adding the Obamacare supporters with the people who think it isn't liberal enough results in a clear majority.

Republican "government takeover" messaging must be an extremely sour note to the majority of Americans.


The tracking question, last asked in May, found that 43% favor Obamacare, 35% oppose it as too liberal, and 16% oppose it as not liberal enough. 43% + 16% = 59% = pretty large majority. And before you accuse me of playing mix and match with the numbers, people who don't think Obamacare is liberal enough are definitely pro-healthcare reform.

The health insurance status quo in America is unsustainable and the Republican Party has no real answers. Health savings accounts? People can't put away money as it is and you want them to save more? No wonder only 35% think it goes too far.

I'm still convinced that Morning Consult's percentage of delay/defund supporters is low, but not by as much as I'd originally assumed and probably not by all that much at all. Even if 35% oppose Obamacare as too liberal, it doesn't mean they aren't interested in reform at all. I'd imagine that the people who think the health coverage status quo is perfectly acceptable are probably in at least the low double digits.

Which leaves House Republicans enthralled to the Tea Party base -- a demographic who have a real reality problem. A recent CNBC poll found that only 19% wanted to defund Obamacare, but that 54% of self-identified Tea Party Republicans did -- the only demo with a majority on that question. It may not be that 7% want to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, but more reliable numbers still show this "plan" is a fringe idea. When you start getting to 20% or below, you're into crackpot numbers. Those are who Republicans are representing right now and, for some reason, they seem to believe that this is going to work out for them.

On that point -- as with so many others -- Republicans are just deluding themselves.


[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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