CNN Poll: Health care ruling has not impacted race for White House, so far
July 2nd, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Health care ruling has not impacted race for White House, so far

Washington (CNN) - Thursday's landmark Supreme Court decision upholding the country's health care law appears to have had exactly zero impact on the presidential election so far, and has produced virtually no change in opinions on President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to a new national poll.

And while the CNN/ORC International survey released Monday indicates the president with a very slight three point edge over Romney among registered voters nationwide, the presumptive GOP nominee appears to hold an eight point advantage among voters who live in the 15 states considered in play in the race for the White House.

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But according to the poll, which was conducted in the four days following the high court's health care ruling, there's been a surge in enthusiasm by Democrats nationwide, and registered voters say that Obama would handle health care better than Romney.

In a general election showdown between the president and the presumptive GOP nominee, 49% of registered voters nationwide say that if the November election were held today, they would vote for Obama, with 46% saying they'd vote for Romney. The president's three point edge is within the poll's sampling error. The results are identical to the numbers from the last CNN poll, conducted in late May.

Obama's job approval rating in the White House, now at 51% (with 47% saying they disapprove), is virtually unchanged from the 52% he scored in our last poll, and the same is true of his personal favorability rating, which stands at 55%, with 45% saying they hold a negative view of the president. Romney's favorable rating, now at 48%, is also unchanged. Forty-two percent say they hold an unfavorable view of the former Massachusetts governor, who is making his second bid for the presidency.

About a third of all Americans live in states that are not considered safe Republican or safe Democratic strongholds, including toss-ups states (like Florida and Ohio) as well as states that lean toward one presidential candidate but could ultimately wind up voting for his rival. In those 15 "battleground states," the poll indicates that Romney currently has a 51%-43% advantage over the president among registered voters, if the election were held today.

"Note carefully that this does not mean that Romney will win each of those states by eight points, or that he will win all 15 of those states," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That's both good news and bad news for Romney. The good news: he has residual strength in states that the two campaigns are fighting over. The bad news: Romney is also spending resources defending states that should be part of the GOP coalition, rather than taking the battle to Obama's home turf."

The survey indicates that Romney clearly has a big advantage in some of those 15 states, but the data does not indicate which states he is currently winning or how big that advantage may actually be. Neither candidate needs to win all 15 of those states in order to win the general election, so the aggregate results from all 15 states do not forecast an Obama loss or a Romney victory.
The survey indicates the real effect of the Supreme Court's health care ruling may be in motivating voters rather than changing their minds, and the poll indicates that Democrats, for the moment, may be a bit more eager to vote than Republicans.

Fifty-nine percent of registered voters who describe themselves as Democrats say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting this year, up from 46% in March. Fifty-one percent of registered voters who call themselves Republicans are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting, unchanged since the spring.

Also working in the Democrats' favor: Registered voters say that Obama would handle health care better than Romney by a 51%-44% margin.

More than half of those questioned say the high court's ruling will not impact their vote for president. But three in ten say that the court's decision will make them less likely to vote for Obama.

"But more than half of those respondents are conservative and nearly nine in ten say they were already planning to vote for Romney. The same is true of the 16% who say that the court's decision makes them more likely to vote for Obama - more than nine in ten are already in Obama's camp," says Holland. "So the court's decision seems to have hardened existing opinions rather than changing them, making the fight for the dwindling crop of persuadable voters all the more important."

In any case, the election will not be held tomorrow - and one in five registered voters say they may change their minds between now and November.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, from June 28-July 1, with 1,517 adults nationwide, including 1,390 registered voters across the country, and 534 registered voters in 15 "battleground" states, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Poll
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. andyoo

    the poll sample is so small...it mean nothing.

    July 2, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Dave

    The same people who voted for Obama will vote for Obama. Those who voted for McCain will vote for Romney. What will decide the race are two things: the Latino voters, and Republican efforts to keep people from voting in certain swing states.

    July 2, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. We Tardet

    Why deos their have to be a race for the white hose? It should be open to erveybody! Prolably shuld not call it a wite horse toiugh. Thats rasist! Fools!

    July 2, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. We Tardet

    Why deos their have to be a race for the wite house? It should be open to erveybody! Prolably shuld not call it a wite horse toiugh. Thats rasist! Fools!

    July 2, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. ShawnDH

    The ruling has made me even more excited to reelect the best president of my lifetime, President Barack Obama!

    July 2, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If Government officials and their families have healthcare paid for by taxpayers, we deserve the same. The next time a Republican tells anyone you are going to pay for Obamacare, ask that Republican whose paying for his/hers.

    July 2, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. GG

    This is a survey of registered voters vs likely voters, where polls show a Romney lead.

    July 2, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Kris

    Doing the Right Thing is NEVER the wrong thing to do. The Affordable Care Act is not perfect but at least its a start. If the Republicans had not be so Eger to be obstructionist, I can only imagine the progress we would have made with making sure that all Americans have access to Health Insurance. Frankly, I'm offended when I see millionair Right Wing Nut Bags tell me how much I'm going to regret having the ability to access Insurance.

    July 2, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Math games. If you narrow it down to the 7 most important battleground states, suddenly Obama has a lead. What you're really seeing here is CNN casting a wider net to get the result they want, so they can write the story they want.

    BTW, questioned by telephone? Was it all land lines?

    July 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Cherries

    Lets say Romney was elected. Does he have the power to change the healthcare law?

    July 2, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. NorCalMojo

    It's a win for Obama, no doubt about it. Romney was the wrong pick if they want to make healthcare an issue again.

    Romney seems to be hiding from the whole situation.

    July 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. winston

    LMAO, build the drama CNN you would call this race too if it were within 49% 8))))

    July 2, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. RudyG

    Why would anyone trust a poll conducted by an organization that clearly supports one of the two presidential candidates?? I'm an independent, and not sure who to vote for yet, but CNN's continuous publishing of polls is baffling to me!! I don't know anyone who has half a brain who truly believes in the impartiality of CNN polls.

    July 2, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. coastoftennessee

    I'm not certain who is included in these polls that CNN publishes, but there isn't anyone that I know has ever been asked by anyone identifying themselves as a CNN/ORC International opinion poll person. I am curious because I know the area that I live in Ohio is heavily conservative and if these polls aren't considering conservative areas of the country, then I would say this is not a valid poll.

    July 2, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Joanne Sheppard

    I continue finding it hard to believe that some people would prefer to see corporations benefit and leave the American People to scrimp and save...what is wrong here??????

    July 2, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. JeremyH6

    Dave, "Republican efforts"? You mean "Dem efforts", right? You should look up the bullying that the New Racist Party pulled off during the last presidential election...

    July 2, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Errm

    We Tardet...ummm...is that English?

    July 2, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. edog

    This is such a false poll! It has Arizona, Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina included in the "Battle Ground" states where Romey is leading. Who in their right mind would include these "red" states as battle ground. Bad poll and very misleading. For a real sense of polling check out Nate Silver.

    July 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Not sure yet where thing thing is going. Some are calling it the biggest tax increase in history. Maybe it is time for those not paying any taxes to start paying. The Republicians have resisted any tax increases without spending cuts. So a stalemate still exists in the congress. However if Obama is Re-Elected a huge new Buracrasy will be created. The IRS will moniter those that didn't purchase health insurence. The Health Insurance Companies have to raise rates to cover those with pre-existing conditions. It will get expensive to say the least. If the government puts a cap on what a health insurer can charge the health insurer may just go out of business. Think Obama care is great?. Wait until you get the bill.

    July 2, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Guitar Man

    Where did we get this notion that All Americans have a God Given right to affordable health care? We live in a free-market society– let the market bear whatever price/costs the market dictates

    Also, why should my tax dollars go to fund abortions? Why I should be told I now have to pay for somethign that my conscience opposes?

    You're right. This Tax is a start....the question is, in what direction?

    July 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. tonyl

    Romney is completely untrustworthy. He is etch a sketch and a flip flopper on all the issues facing the nation. The man with NO CORE BELIEFS. He is always on all sides of all the issues. After all he is a businessman and will even sell his mother for a vote. The man is in the pockets of the rich corporations and lobbyists. He has created hundreds of thousands of jobs for Chinese and Indians while laying Americans off here in the US. He started the mandate in Massachusetts by introducing Romneycare but now is against mandate. A complete hypocrite. For the first time a candidate running for the presidency of united states who has overseas offshore bank accounts in Cayman Islands. GO FIGURE.

    July 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. John

    A meaningless survey poorly designed , sampled and executed. Are they paying somenbody for this garbage?

    July 2, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. stephen

    Who cares who wins, Obama and Romney both work for the same corporate elite and banking establishment that only cares about profit at the cost of individual liberties and increasing taxes. The healthcare bill was written by insurance industry lobbiest and both have said they are happy with the NDAA, FAA, prepetual war, and a host of other new laws that restrict the bill of rights. Wake up sheeple, the left – right paradigm hasnt yelled anything but more of the same for the last 30 years. At this point It doesnt matter if it's Obama or Romney because they are two wings on the same chicken hawk! .... and @Dave has it all wrong, whats gonna make the difference in this election is the droves of youth who voted for Obama last time and have no realized he's the same as Bush.

    July 2, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Dude

    One question: How does the GOP achieve health care coverage for all Americans with a sound, efficient, market-based, solution? I'm not a big fan of socialized anything, but I'm also not too keen about being replaced by an H1B worker at some point in my career and facing some monstrous $163,000 healthcare bill on my own while working as a Walmart greeter. There has to be a workable middle ground solution that doesn't bankrupt the country.

    July 2, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Thank you, President Obama. This was indeed the right thing to do. Looking back in history – the Republicans predicted the "end of America as we know it" when Franklin, Roosevelt D-NY gave us Social Security. Same thing happened when Lindon Johnson D-Tx gave us Medicare. Social Security and Medicare are two of the country's most-loved and successful laws that benefit the average American and both were enacted by Democratic presidents. President Obama will be reelected and his presidency will be remembered as another Democratic victory for the American people. I am very grateful.

    July 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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