The results to a new Newsweek/Daily Beast poll, conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC. indicates that both parties face key challenges going forward in the wake of the Supreme Court’s health care ruling last Thursday.
A solid majority (58%) of voters see the Supreme Court decision as a major political win for Obama, while only 19% see it as a win for Romney, and 23% are unsure. But there’s a downside last Thursday’s news for the White House and the president’s 2012 reelection campaign.
Put simply, the results indicate clearly that Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the centerpiece of President Obama’s health-care law — while a clear short term victory for President Obama –well cost him at the polls come November.
Health care was and is a losing issue for Obama. Polling has consistently shown that Obamacare was unpopular in 2010, remains unpopular now, and is likely to become even less popular going forward given the levels of pessimism voters are expressing about the implications of the Supreme Court’s health care.
Specifically, the survey found that voters disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the issue of health care( 58%-37%), oppose the individual mandate (53%), oppose the Court’s ruling (50%-45%) and say that the Court made the wrong decision in upholding the mandate (49%-38%).
Indeed, the court’s decision that the individual mandate is a tax will not make the law more popular in the long term; on the contrary, it is likely to make it even less popular — in light of the fact that majorities of voters believe that both their health care costs (56%-21%) and their taxes (52%-21%) will go up as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Meanwhile, while President Obama has a narrow lead in the presidential race (47% to 44%) his overall job approval rating (45%-54%) is well below the crucial 50% mark, and a plurality of voters say it is time to replace him with someone else (48%), while only 42% say he has done his job well enough to deserve reelection.
And voters say that Governor Romney would do a better job on handling virtually every single domestic policy measure than President Obama – including the economy (52%-37%), illegal immigration (41%-38%), health care (48%-40%), balancing the budget (48%-44%), fighting crime (35%-33%), and holding the line on taxes (45%-42%).
And with 32 percent of voters saying that the ruling makes them more likely to vote for Governor Romney, while only 14% say it makes them more likely to vote to reelect President Obama, it is clear that while the Supreme Court’s decision is a short-term win for President Obama, it is a long-term opportunity for Romney and Republicans.
That being said, the Republicans are facing similar challenges – albeit from a different perspective — and given the degree of dissatisfaction with both parties is within the electorate, both parties are in trouble.
While the Republicans have a narrow lead in the generic Congressional race (38%-36%), it is within the margin of error, and neither party inspires a great deal of confidence when it comes to coping with the major issues the nation faces over the coming years.
Indeed, by a narrow plurality, 37% of voters say that they trust the Democrats to do a better job in coping with the major issues the nation faces over the next few years, while 32% trust the Republicans. One-quarter (24%) say they trust neither party.