Numbers don't lie
U.S. voters don't care much for the Affordable Care Act, but they still trust Democrats a lot more on health care policy than Republicans, according to polling from Reuters/Ipsos. In a survey covering April 6 to 15, 32 percent of respondents said they trust Democrats more on health care plans, policy, or approach, versus 18 percent for Republicans. That's an increase for Democrats from February and a drop for the GOP.
This would seem to be good news for the Democrats, and it follows the better-than-expected ObamaCare enrollment numbers. But Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson says that the increase in support is coming from Democrats buoyed by positive news about the law, not independents. That could help narrow the partisan enthusiasm gap bolstering GOP hopes of taking control of the Senate in November, but Republicans have good reason to campaign on public displeasure with the health care law, anyway. Here's Reuters/Ipsos' polling on whether voters oppose (blue) or favor (pink) ObamaCare, starting a few weeks before the disastrous HealthCare.gov rollout:
If Republicans want to win control of Congress on the back of ObamaCare, then, it seems they should hope for a large protest vote, not a vote of confidence in any GOP alternative to the law. That, or they should come up with and rally behind a better plan. "Democrats have not managed to have a huge lead over Republicans so much as Republicans have managed to damage their own position and stay behind Democrats," Jackson says. "That's because people don't view the Republican Party as standing for any particular health care system."