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. 1+1=2

    Why don't conservatives just go ahead and vote for Rupert Murdoch with write in voters? He's in his 80's now and with his Chinese wife, after he passes, conservatives can get their news directly from the Chinese government. Talk about a propaganda machine. A vote for Romney is a vote for Murdoch running this country anyway.

    July 2, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. Greg

    Two bad candidates, reminds me of the Kerry and Bush bout. Let's dig up Pat Paulson, he'll get the joke and do a better job if he wins.

    July 2, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Romney will win and the Moocher Class will starve in the streets and it's about time."

    Your GOP/Teatroll party, folks. I don't think I even need to translate this one. You know EXACTLY what it meant.

    July 2, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Cliff

    I'm slightly perplexed by the article. For 1 the 8 point edge Romney supposedly has in the swing states was held by Obama last week. I can even show folks the article by CNN in which it states that Obama holds big edge in swing states. LOL So either this person got it wrong or last weeks article was wrong. And last weeks article was also shared By Gallup soooo.... Not to mention of the 9 main swing states, Obama leads 6 out 9. Obama leads in recent polls in Ohio, Florida, Mich, Wisc, Colorado, Nevada but trails in Iowa, N.C and Virgina. And of those Romney leads the average margin is 3 points. So I am really baffled.

    July 2, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Senor Ed

    Every time I see a picture of Rmoney I can see the Koch brothers standing behind him pulling the strings.

    July 2, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    The Republican Party is trying hood-wink America. THINK ABOUT IT. In order for President Obama to sign the Health Care Bill in to law it had to be passed by The Republican Control Congress or why did they vote for the bill if you don't want it in the first place . But now the Repulican hate it. THINK ABOUT IT. Go President Obama

    July 2, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Alexcny

    Until these two debate I am not putting any stock into these polls. Like the primaries I think the debates will really be a deciding factor this time around.

    July 2, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Joe

    Republicans want to replace healthcare, but they have to repeal it so you can find out what's in it.

    July 2, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. vulpecula

    Time for Obama to pull out the Osama video we've wanted. (an ace in the sleeve)

    July 2, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. xfiler93

    everytime I see Obumbles, I see George Soros standing behind him pulling the strings.

    July 2, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Emigdio Alvarez

    I haven't read the the article yet, but it's most likely that Obama will have an edge with Obamacare passed.

    July 2, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. RandyMan

    If you drive a car, I'll tax the street, If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat,If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.– The Beatles in “The Taxman”
    The Gubmint nows has the ability to make you buy whatever they say by making it a tax. Obama just passed the largest tax increase on the middle class in history. Wait, didn't he say that middle class taxes would not increase a single dime under his administration...LOL

    July 2, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  13. Alan

    The biggest takeover of private business in American history has not impacted the campaign? That is wishful think from the Obama worshipers. This issue and the failure of the SCOTUS to hold this leftist administration in check is going to bring the voters out in force, and they will not be voting for Obama.

    July 2, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. disgustedvet

    Where is the story about Romney leading obama 51 % to 43 % in swing States ? It is afterall a CNN poll result.

    July 2, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Paul

    If Romney somehow wins we are screwed. Better get ready for full out 1933 depression. I am hitting up the ATM and with drawing my 401k if he does win and I am dead serious. We are all screwed.

    July 2, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Ferathka

    To this day I am still amazed at how people who vote Republican vote against their own interests year after year. The republicans cater to the rich and the elite of this country. I am not saying that the Dems are pefect, because they are not, but the Republicans are in now way looking out for your interests, unless you make a few million a year.

    July 2, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. taskmaster

    The Supreme Court certified Barrack Obama a LIAR. Mitt Romney is a well known liar. So whats the difference?

    July 2, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Pat

    I wasn't sure who I would vote for in November, but after this decision, Romney will be getting my vote!

    July 2, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. JC

    I am finding this hilarious. All the people attacking Romney. He is a successful business man, he successfully brought the Olympics to Salt Lake City after previous bid scandals, he has a LOT more experience and credibility in both Business AND Government vs the Organizer and 6 month Senator.

    He's taking a PAYCUT to take the job, and his net worth will not be significantly altered like Clinton's or Obama's was.

    All of the Garbage of the Koch Brothers pulling the strings... HA. Let's put it this way, if there is even a shred of truth to that, NOTHING can compare to how far Soros' hand is stuck up Obama's backside to work his mouth.

    Obama had NO CLUE on how to assemble a true team of advisors that can do more than 'theorize'. I bet that Romney's Pick for Secretary of the Treasury will be found to not only know how run Quicken but pays more than he does in taxes.

    I wonder how many Czars Romney will appoint and how many Executive Orders he will execute! I wonder of Ann will take the kids to France for a Vacation on the taxpayer's dime. And does Mitt golf? I wonder how many unread bills from Congress Mitt will sign into law that will be a Big Fing deal.

    We'll see come November.

    July 2, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. John

    Obama was voted into office with many promises, and one of those promises have been made in every election since 2001, that's health care reform. Every president before Obama have scampered from moving ahead because the "polls" showed frightened voters that meant fewer votes. The GOP would do themselves a favor and look at a politician who is not a coward, and that politician is in the White House, right now.

    July 2, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. Joe

    The nation is in misery, but those on the dole don't care

    July 2, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. joshua

    Obama care is the largest middle class tax increase in the history of the world. Look it up, it's true.

    July 2, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. JC

    Nelson in Colorado Springs...

    Uh, Republican Congress passed Obamacare?? It was a Democrat Congress that was Filibuster proof...

    July 2, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. jwcalla

    @Nelson Colorado Springs Co. - Perhaps you forgot that when the health care bill was passed the Democrats had large majorities in both houses of Congress.

    July 2, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. sftommy

    Hope GOP runs with this as their election year issue...their widespread defeat would benefit America more than just retaining the White House.

    July 2, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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