Here's Why 2012 Won't Be The 'Obamacare Election'

Mitt Romney

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

After the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is placing renewed emphasis on the issue of “repealing Obamacare” in the 2012 election. But here’s why it might not have much of an effect on the race between Romney and President Barack Obama: America doesn’t rank it as an issue of high importance.

A new Gallup poll finds that health care down on the voter issue list of importance. Health care is No. 5 on the issue list, behind the general economy, jobs, “dissatisfaction with government” and the federal budget deficit.

Moreover, Health care ranks as the top issue for just 6 per cent of respondents — well behind the 31 per cent who rank the economy as their top issue. 

Here’s a look at how importance on the health-care issue has shifted: 

Gallup health care

Photo: Gallup

The chart shows that voter concerns about healthcare peaked twice in the last 20 years, around the times that Congress has undertaken a debate on reforming the nation’s health care system. 

Bottom line: Repealing Obamacare will be a platform for Romney, and praising its win in the Supreme Court will be a platform for Obama. But this election will still be decided by the economy. 

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