Fox News Poll: Independents more likely to back anti-ObamaCare candidates
By Oceander Blanton
Published April 21, 2014
Most voters say ObamaCare will play an important role in their vote in this year’s elections, and over half are more inclined to back the candidate who opposes the health care law.
That’s according to a Fox News poll released Monday.
The new poll asks voters what they would do if the only difference between two congressional candidates is that one promises to fight for the health care law and the other promises to fight against it.
By a 53-39 percent margin, more voters say they would back the anti-ObamaCare candidate.
Independents, always a key voting bloc, would back that candidate by a 25 percentage-point margin (54-29 percent, with another 14 percent saying it depends).
In addition, Republicans and independents are more likely than Democrats to say the candidate’s position on ObamaCare will be an important factor in deciding their vote for Congress. That matters because majorities of Republicans and independents oppose the law.
Some 80 percent of Republicans say the candidate’s stand on ObamaCare will be an important factor to their vote, and 87 percent of Republicans oppose the law. Among independents, 72 percent say the law will be important in their decision, and 63 percent oppose it.
Fewer Democrats, 67 percent, say a candidate’s position on ObamaCare will be important. While most Democrats favor the law (71 percent), nearly a quarter opposes it (24 percent).
Nineteen percent of voters say a congressional candidate’s stance on ObamaCare will be the “single most important factor” in their vote decision, which is more than double the number who felt that way in 2012 (eight percent). Likewise, the number of Republicans who say it will be the “single most important factor” has almost doubled (21 percent today, up from 11 percent).
Overall, 79 percent of those opposing the law say it will be an important factor to their vote, compared to 67 percent of those favoring the law.
If the election were held today, 44 percent of voters would back the Republican candidate in their House district vs. 41 percent who would vote for the Democrat.
Results on the generic ballot test have bounced around in recent months. Last month the Democratic candidate had the edge by two points, while in January the Republican was up by two. In December it was tied at 43 percent each.
Meanwhile, Republicans (36 percent) are more likely than Democrats (25 percent) and independents (25 percent) to say they are “extremely” interested in this year’s elections.
Some 15 percent of voters approve of the job current lawmakers are doing. That’s the highest approval rating Congress has received this year. Still, 76 percent disapprove.
In general, the poll shows more voters continue to dislike than like the health care law -- as has been the case in the Fox News poll going back to April 2010. Over that time support for the law has stayed between 36-40 percent. Today, 39 percent favor the law, while 56 percent oppose it.
President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law on March 23, 2010.
How will it be viewed down the road? A slim 51-percent majority thinks 20 years from now ObamaCare will be viewed as “one of the worst” things Barack Obama accomplished as president. That includes one in five Democrats (19 percent), over half of independents (56 percent) and most Republicans (81 percent).
Overall, 37 percent think the health care law will be seen as “one of the best things” Obama did.
The president announced Thursday that eight million people had signed up for ObamaCare. Yet it’s still unclear how many of those have completed the transaction and actually paid for the insurance. By a 51-44 percent margin, the poll finds that voters are confident most of the people who signed up will follow through with payment.
Democrats (74 percent) are far more confident than independents (40 percent) and Republicans (31 percent) that most ObamaCare enrollees will pay.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,012 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from April 13-15, 2014. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.