A new Bloomberg poll released Thursday suggests the Affordable Care Act will be a major factor in Americans’ decisions to turn out to the polls this November, especially with its opponents.
According to the poll, 73 per cent of respondents who said they would repeal the health-care overhaul known as Obamacare say the law will be a “major” factor in their vote. And 73 per cent said they will “definitely” vote in this year’s midterm elections.
By contrast, 45 per cent of respondents who support modifications and 33 per cent of those who support the law as it currently stands said Obamacare will be a “major” factor in how they vote. Meanwhile, 61 per cent and 54 per cent of those groups’ respondents, respectively, said they will “definitely” turn out to vote.
As Tuesday night’s special election in Florida showed, the combination of typically low turnout in midterm-election years — plus the more enthusiastic opposition to Obamacare — could spell broader trouble for Democrats.
“In off-year elections, turnout is a huge factor,” J. Ann Selzer, who conducted the survey, told Bloomberg. “The anti-Obamacare segment is both more likely to say they will definitely vote and more likely to say their vote will be strongly influenced by their view of Obamacare. That can be enough to sway a race.”
The premier elections in 2014 will come in the battle for Senate control — if Republicans swing six Senate seats currently in Democratic hands, they will take back the Senate.
There are seven seats up for grabs in traditionally red-leaning states this November — West Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, South Dakota, Alaska, Montana, and Arkansas.
“Many vulnerable Senate Democrats are competing on more Republican turf and carrying more direct Obamacare baggage than Alex Sink was,” Tim Miller, the executive director at the GOP research outfit America Rising, told Business Insider in an email on Wednesday.
Overall, more Americans are in favour of either keeping the law as is or making adjustments to it than fully repealing it — 51 per cent want to keep it with “small modifications,” 34 per cent want full repeal, and 13 per cent want to keep it as is.
Individual provisions of the law are more politically popular. For example, 65 per cent support a ban on insurance companies denying customers coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and 73 per cent support letting children stay on parents’ plans until the age of 26. But by a 51-47 margin, respondents opposed the provision mandating Americans buy health insurance.
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