HUFFPOLLSTER: Obamacare Hits Highest Favorability Since 2010

New polls show support for the law rising, mostly among independents.

Opinions of the Affordable Care Act have improved notably in recent months. Americans are split over how much President Donald Trump has accomplished in office. And many of Trump’s supporters consider the media their enemy. This is HuffPollster for Friday, February 24, 2017.

SUPPORT FOR THE ACA RISES - Kaiser Family Foundation: “As President Trump and Congress weigh repealing the Affordable Care Act, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds more Americans viewing the law favorably than unfavorably (48% compared to 42%). This is the highest level of favorability measured in more than 60 Kaiser Health Tracking Polls conducted since 2010. The shift largely reflects more favorable views among independents, who now are more likely to view the law favorably (50%) than unfavorably (39%). Most Democrats (73%) continue to view the law favorably while most Republicans (74%) view it unfavorably. In spite of these more favorable views, the public remains divided along partisan lines on whether Congress should (47%) or should not (48%) repeal the law. At the same time, more of those who favor repeal want lawmakers to wait until the details of a replacement plan are known (28% overall) than want Congress to repeal immediately and work out the replacement’s details later (18% overall).” [KFF, full results]

Kaiser Family Foundation

Other polls show a similar trend - HuffPost Pollster’s aggregate now puts support for the health law at nearly 48 percent, the highest it’s scored since early 2009. Opinions of the ACA, which were largely negative ever since its passage in 2010, have risen above water since late last November, just after the presidential election, with the dozen most recent polls to ask about it all finding support outstripping opposition. [HuffPost Pollster chart]

Many aspects of the ACA are more popular than the law itself - HuffPollster, on a new Morning Consult/Politico survey: “Even among those who voted for President Donald Trump, there is widespread support for many of the health care law’s individual provisions. Eighty-one percent of Trump voters said Obamacare should be partially or completely repealed. But the majority said they would keep all the specific elements highlighted except ‘requiring health insurance companies to cover prescription birth control,’ ‘removing lifetime and annual limits on the amount of money health insurance companies can pay out for an individual’s care,’ and requiring nearly all Americans to have insurance.” [HuffPost]

AMERICANS SPLIT OVER HOW MUCH TRUMP HAS ACCOMPLISHED - HuffPollster: “Americans are divided in how much they think Donald Trump has accomplished in the first weeks of his presidency, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, even as a plurality say they think he’s moved quickly to make changes in policy. Forty-three percent say he’s accomplished a good amount or a great deal since taking office, and another 43 percent say he’s accomplished not very much, or that he’s accomplished little or nothing….A 46 percent plurality say Trump has made policy changes too quickly since becoming president, while 30 percent say he’s been moving at the right speed, and 10 percent that he hasn’t been moving quickly enough.” [HuffPost]

More on Trump’s job performance:

-”Despite a first month characterized as ‘a continual series of crises,’ Donald Trump’s presidential job approval has been mostly stable in recent weeks.” [SurveyMonkey’s Mark Blumenthal for HuffPost]

-”’President Donald Trump’s popularity is sinking like a rock,’ said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll….’This is a terrible survey one month in.’” [Quinnipiac]

-”Nearly two-thirds of Americans, divided sharply along party lines, are worried that the United States will become engaged in a major war in the next four years.” [NBC]

-”Three in ten (30%) Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while nearly two-thirds (65%) disagree. Notably, a similar number of Americans supported the impeachment of Barack Obama (29%) and George W. Bush (30%), although at a much later date in their presidencies.” [PRRI]

HERE’S WHAT PARTISANS WANT FROM THEIR LEADERS IN CONGRESS - Pew Research: “As President Trump prepares for his address next week to a joint session of Congress, Republicans say they are more inclined to trust the president, rather than GOP congressional leaders, if the two sides disagree. For their part, Democrats are far more concerned that congressional Democrats will not do enough, rather than go too far, to oppose Trump….Job approval for Republican congressional leaders has increased sharply – from 19% to 34% – since September 2015. In contrast, there has been little change in Democratic leaders’ job ratings (34% then, 37% now). The rise in approval of GOP leaders is largely attributable to a turnaround among Republicans: 68% approve of GOP leaders’ performance now; only 26% did so two years ago.” [Pew, more on when Congress uses partisan language and how that study was conducted]

MOST TRUMP VOTERS CALL THE MEDIA THEIR ENEMY - HuffPollster: “A narrow majority of President Donald Trump’s supporters agree with him that the media is their enemy, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, although most Americans overall don’t feel similarly….Most Trump voters, 51 percent, say the media is an enemy to people like them, according to the poll, with 36 percent considering the media unfriendly, and just 5 percent saying it’s friendly or an ally. Overall, 22 percent of Americans consider the media an enemy to people like them, with 19 percent saying it’s unfriendly, 21 percent that it’s friendly, and 14 percent that it’s an ally. That rating scale ― ally, friendly, unfriendly, enemy ― is one YouGov more often uses to measure Americans’ views of foreign countries rather than the Fourth Estate….Many Americans are also comfortable applying the term ‘enemy’ to describe their political opponents. Four in 10 Democrats, for instance, say they consider the GOP an enemy to people like them, and 56 percent that they consider Trump an enemy. Across the aisle, 56 percent of Republicans say that the Democratic Party is an enemy to people like them.” [HuffPost]

Do voters trust the media more than Trump? - Danielle Kurtzleben: “A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that 52 percent of registered voters said they trust the news media more than Trump to tell them ‘the truth about important issues.’ Only 37 percent say they choose Trump….But just five days ago there was another headline: ‘Poll: Trump administration edges media in voter trust.’ That came from a Fox News poll finding that the 45 percent of people trust the Trump administration more than news reporters to ‘tell the public the truth.’ So is one poll right and one poll wrong?...One big bottom line here is that focusing on any one poll can easily be misleading….Polling trends give greater context and tell more of a story about what’s happening and why. Should Fox News and Quinnipiac continue to poll on these questions, the movement as major news events happen will be more meaningful, showing what sways people’s opinions and why. In addition, focusing too much on one poll means missing out on a bigger picture. In this case, it’s that both Trump and the media have big, big trust problems.” [NPR]

MANY YOUNG AMERICANS ARE TURNING OUT IN PROTEST - Sarah Ruiz-Grossman: “Millennials ages 18 to 30 are more likely to have gone to a protest since the election than any other age group, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3. Millennials are also more likely than older groups to think protesting is an effective form of political action….Young people also rank protest as one of the two most effective political actions one can take, alongside calling or writing their representatives. Older age groups rank protests’ effectiveness below other forms of political actions that rely on more traditional, institutional channels, such as calling representatives or signing petitions.” [HuffPost]

POLLSTERS’ ASSOCIATION ISSUES STATEMENT ON ‘FRUGGING’ - The American Association for Public Opinion Research: “A recent Web survey from the Trump/Pence campaign (Mainstream Media Accountability Survey) has been circulated that asks for donations at the conclusion of the survey. The practice of fundraising under the guise of a survey (frugging) is neither new nor unique to a single candidate or political party. It is strongly condemned by AAPOR, together with the Research Industry Coalition and the National Council on Public Polls (Condemned Survey Practices), along with other practices such as ‘push-polling’ that attempt to change rather than measure people’s opinions.” [AAPOR]

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FRIDAY’S ‘OUTLIERS’ - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Vladimir Putin’s favorability rating rises 8 points, a shift fueled largely by Republicans. [Gallup]

-Democrats turn against the Keystone XL pipeline. [Pew]

-Geoffrey Skelley and Kyle Kondik sketch out how the 2018 midterms will affect redistricting in 2020. [Sabato’s Crystal Ball]

-Nate Cohn argues that Democrats’ best path to retaking the House in 2018 lies through the Sun Belt. [NYT]

-Kevin Quealy analyzes a study showing readers tend to avoid stories that contradict their beliefs. [NYT]

-Stephen Wolf (D) notes that Donald Trump won easily in most congressional Republicans’ House districts. [Daily Kos]

-Philip Bump charts how Donald Trump spent his first month in office. [WashPost]

-Dan Hirschman and Daniel Laurison discuss a potentially-misleading pie chart of last year’s election results. [Scatterplot]

-Claire Cain Miller and Kevin Quealy discuss a new survey of political scientists rating how democracy is doing in America. [NYT]

-Six in 10 Americans can’t name a best picture nominee for the Oscars. [THR]

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