HUFFPOLLSTER: Support For Obamacare Ticks Up Slightly Post-Shutdown

HUFFPOLLSTER: Support For Obamacare Ticks Up Slightly Post-Shutdown

New polls yield more evidence that October has been brutal for Republicans. The post-shutdown Obamacare support uptick appears real, though slight. And Gallup finds a big increase in support for legalized marijuana (insert your "all time high" joke here). This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, October 22, 2013.

SHUTDOWN FALLOUT "CONTINUES TO REVERBERATE" - HuffPost: "The aftermath of the government shutdown leaves the public angry and profoundly anti-incumbent, according to two polls released Tuesday morning, which confirm that Americans lay much of the blame for the ordeal on the GOP….Congressional approval is at a miserable 12 percent in the Post/ABC poll, its lowest point in 39 years. More Americans disapprove than approve of their own representative for the first time in at least 24 years. In a USA Today/Princeton Survey Research Associates poll, 47 percent of Americans say Congress would be improved if every member were voted out, while just 4 percent think it would be worse….'Those findings are similar to the public's views in previous years when voter dismay cost one side or the other control of the House,' USA Today's Susan Page writes." [HuffPost, USA Today]

"Major damage to GOP" - Dan Balz and Scott Clement: "The [Post/ABC] survey highlights just how badly the GOP hard-liners and the leaders who went along with them misjudged the public mood. In the aftermath, eight in 10 Americans say they disapprove of the shutdown. Two in three Republicans or independents who lean Republican share a negative view of the impasse. And even a majority of those who support the tea party movement disapprove....Asked who they consider responsible for the impasse, 53 percent of poll respondents cite Republicans, 29 percent blame Obama and 15 percent fault both sides equally. Republicans who support the tea party movement overwhelmingly blame Obama for what happened, but among Republicans who do not back the tea party, almost as many cite congressional Republicans as name Obama or both. [WaPost]

"Views of the tea party also suffered" - CBS polling unit: "Tea party adherents were front-and-center during the shutdown, and views of the movement have become more negative. Just 14 percent of Americans now hold a favorable view of the tea party, down from 18 percent as the government shutdown began, and unfavorable views are up 7 points. Half of Americans still hold no view of the tea party or aren't familiar with it, even after the high-profile political battles. Conservative Republicans hold net positive views of the tea party (40 percent have a favorable opinion); Democrats and liberals hold especially negative views." [CBS]

OBAMACARE SUPPORT UPTICK - One of the most surprising findings of the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released two weeks ago was an uptick in support for the health care reform law now commonly known as "Obamacare." Republican pollster Bill McInturff, half of the bipartisan team that conducts the NBC/WSJ poll, saw in that finding evidence of a "boomerang effect" for Republicans: "As the debate has been going on," he told NBC News, "if there is a break, there is a break against the Republican position." [NBC]

New polls confirm trend - Two weeks later, four out of five new surveys that asked up-or-down questions about the health care law show slight movement in the same direction since September, though most found smaller movement. "The improvement may only seem like a few percentage points," notes Texas Tech Professor Alan Reifman, but **the pattern across multiple polls "suggests the change is likely authentic (for now, at least).**" [Health Care Polls]


Just an uptick - Again, the change is modest at best. As captured on the Pollster chart, which mashes up the often variable poll questions that pose traditional support-or-oppose, favorable-or-unfavorable views about the health care law, the gain in support represents just a percentage point or two. Given that these measurements were taken at a moment of "major damage" to the Republicans -- and mostly predate the most recent stories about the website glitches -- they may also be fleeting. (Keep in mind, also, that up-or-down questions often fail to capture that misgivings about the health care law include a small but meaningful number that would prefer a law that "goes further" or is "more liberal"). [Pollster chart; see also HuffPost]

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Will glitches cause backlash? - Greg Sargent says no: " The horrific web-based problems we’re seeing right now with the Obamacare exchanges — which Republicans cite as evidence the law is a catastrophe that must be blotted from the landscape – are not producing support for the GOP position, either...only one third of Americans support repealing the law. A sizable bloc of those who oppose the law want it to continue, anyway....Of those Americans who think the law’s problems run deeper than the Web site, even they are almost evenly divided on whether to give the law a chance. Of that group, 51 percent want it repealed, while 47 either support it or oppose it but want to let it continue." [WaPost's Plum Line]

ECONOMIC CONFIDENCE REBOUNDS SLIGHTLY AFTER SHUTDOWN - Alyssa Brown: "Americans' confidence in the U.S. economy appeared to be improving after the partial government shutdown ended Thursday and lawmakers reached an agreement to avoid defaulting on the nation's debt. Gallup's Economic Confidence Index averaged --36 last week, up from --39 the prior week. This marks the first time economic confidence has improved since the week ending Sept. 15, when federal budget and debt ceiling negotiations were intensifying." On Tuesday, Gallup's daily economic confidence number had ticked back up to --32. [Gallup article, confidence index]

Gallup economic confidence chart

WEED DID IT! - HuffPost: "For the first time, more than half of Americans think that marijuana usage should be made legal, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday. Fifty-eight percent of Americans now back legalizing marijuana. That represents an 8-point increase from the previous record of 50 percent in 2011, and a 10-point increase from November 2012, just after Colorado and Washington voted for legalization….Much of the new support for legalization comes among independent voters, 62 percent of whom now support it, up from just 50 percent last November." [HuffPost]

INTRODUCING TWO NEW POLLSTER MODELS - Today, we've updated our polling charts for the New Jersey governor's race and the New York City mayoral race to include a more rigorous poll tracking model developed for the Huffington Post by Stanford University Professor Simon Jackman. The new trend lines produced by the model take into consideration sample sizes and pollsters' house effects, as well as showing the uncertainty level for our current predictions. For a fuller explanation of how that works, see Friday's HuffPollster. [NJ chart, NYC chart, more on the model]

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TUESDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Three fourths of Hispanics say their community needs a leader. [Pew Research]

-PPP(D) and the League of Conservation Voters finds Terry McAuliffe with a wide lead among Virginia early voters. [LCV]

-Rasmussen gives McAuliffe a 17-point lead. [Rasmussen]

-Reid Wilson argues an 8 point lead on the generic ballot is not enough for Democrats to retake the House. [Wapost]

-Nate Cohn reviews why it's hard for Democrats to retake the House and reminds us that polls of all registered voters have slightly more Democrats than likely electorates. [New Republic here and here]

-Mike Murphy describes the fight over the future of the GOP as a battle between "mathematicians and priests." [WaPost]

-Messaging can matter, says Dan Hopkins, "but it can't invert public opinion in a matter of weeks." [WaPost's Monkey Cage]

-Alex Lundry describes his research finding a majority in every state favoring a federal law to protect gay and transgender employees. [CNN]

-Harry Enten notes the rising popularity of prominent Republican governors. [Guardian ]

-Elizabeth Wilner debuts a new weekly column, beginning with putting an over/under on over/under of $2.4 billion on 2014 political advertising on local broadcast television. [Cook Political's On Points]

-Time puts a quiz to go with the map of states' personalities. [Time]

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