Poll suggests Obamacare could have cost Obama second term
November 19th, 2013
12:52 PM ET
10 months ago

Poll suggests Obamacare could have cost Obama second term

Updated 11/19/2013 at 1:33 p.m. ET

Washington (CNN) - If you need any more evidence that the disastrous roll out of the new health care law is taking a toll on President Barack Obama's plunging approval ratings, a new survey provides the proof.

And an ABC News/Washington Post poll also suggests that if the 2012 presidential election between the President and GOP challenger Mitt Romney were held today, Romney would hold a slight lead in the popular vote.

Obama's approval rating stands at 42% in the survey, which was released early Tuesday. That's down six percentage points from a month ago and ties an all-time low for Obama in ABC News/Washington Post polling. And the President's disapproval rating among Americans stands at 55%, up six points from mid-October and an all-time high in ABC News/Washington Post surveys.

Obama's approval rating has now reached new lows or tied his historic lows in polls released over the past three weeks from ABC News/Washington Post, Quinnipiac University, National Journal Heartland Monitor, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal. And his numbers are nearing where his predecessor, George W. Bush, stood at this time in his second term.

A CNN Poll of Polls, compiled and released Tuesday, that averages the six most recent non-partisan live operator national surveys on the President's approval rating puts Obama's approval at 40% and his disapproval at 54%.

"Approval ratings for Obama and George W. Bush have followed the same pattern in their second terms for completely different reasons. For Bush, a natural disaster and an unpopular war were the primary reasons why his approval rating dropped to 41% in October 2005 and to 37% in November of that year," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Support for Obamacare drops

The flawed startup of HealthCare.gov and the controversy over millions of Americans being told they will lose their current insurance plans because they don't meet the new law's requirements is fueling a drop in support for the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Just four in 10 questioned in the ABC News/Washington Post poll say they approve of the new health care law and 57% oppose it. A month ago support stood at 46% with 49% opposed.

And disapproval of how Obama handled the health care law's implementation has also surged, from 53% last month to 63% now. Only a third of the public gives Obama a thumbs-up on how he's handled the roll out of the law.

More than seven in 10 say the problems with the health care website are serious enough that the government should delay the requirement that all individuals have health insurance or face fines. And the public's divided on whether the government can recover from the massive problems implementing the new law or that the problems are a sign the measure is unworkable.

Would Romney win?

What if the 2012 presidential election were held today instead of just over a year ago. Forty-seven percent of people questioned in the poll say that they would vote for Obama, with an equal amount saying they would cast a ballot for Romney. Among the narrower pool of registered voters, Romney has a slight 49%-45% edge.

The President topped Romney 51%-47% last November to win a second term in the White House.
The poll doesn't mean that Romney would win if the election were held today, of course - the race for the White House is not a battle for the popular vote, but rather a contest for the states and their electoral votes.

Obama taking a personal hit

When it comes to his polling, the president's personal numbers have always been his saving grace, but a number of controversies this year, from the NSA to the IRS, compounded by the health care woes, are wearing away at Obama's standing.

For the first time in ABC News/Washington Post polling, a slight majority (52%) have an unfavorable view of the President. He's also underwater when it comes to his favorability in a couple of other new polls. That's a big change from the beginning of the year, when his favorable ratings were hovering at or near 60% in some surveys.

"There's been times where I thought we were slapped around a little bit unjustly - this one is deserved," Obama said Thursday during a news conference on the health care woes.

And he acknowledged his personal attributes have taken a hit, saying, "I think it's legitimate for them to expect for me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general."

Fifty-percent of those questioned in the ABC News/Washington Post poll say the President isn't honest and trustworthy, similar to findings in last week's Quinnipiac survey. And he's also underwater when it comes to leadership and empathy.

And in another sign of how Obamacare's hurting Obama's poll numbers,only 41% say they consider the President a good manager.

One of the few silver linings in the survey: On the "you can keep your plan" controversy, people were asked whether they thought that the President told the public what he believed to be true or that he intentionally misled. By 52%-44%, Americans say they think Obama told people what he thought was correct at the time.

Indicators for 2014

Next November all 435 seats in the House and more than a third of the Senate are up for grabs. The Democrats currently hold a 55-45 advantage in the Senate and the GOP holds a 17-seat advantage in the House.

The president last week acknowledged that the health care roll out could hurt his party at the ballot box in 2014, saying, "There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not."

And the poll agrees. Thirty-seven percent say a candidate's support for the health care law would make them less likely to back that candidate, with 21% saying they'd be more likely to support that candidate. Four in 10 said it wouldn't matter.

The poll's release comes four days after 39 House Democrats broke party ranks and voted for a GOP bill that would alter the health care law, another sign of the concerns of some in the President's party who could face challenging re-elections next year.

And for only the second time in ABC/Washington Post polling, the public's divided on whether Obama's views on most issues are too liberal or just right. The last time that Americans felt that was was two months before the 2010 midterm elections, when the GOP made an historic 63-seat pickup in the House to reclaim control of the chamber.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Wilson

    @Rudy NYC

    Approval ratings for Obama and George W. Bush have followed the same pattern in their second terms for completely different reasons. ..... ...
    --------
    If that's the case, then why is it that so many conservatives keep trying to create a false equivalence between the two?
    ------–
    I thought it was always the liberals that make the comparison between the two. Using Bush's failings to justify Obama's? Or to excuse Obama by saying Bush was worse?
    $

    November 19, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. tom l

    That poll shows that 61% of voters either are more likely to vote for the candidate due to support for the ACA OR won't base their decision on whether the candidate supported the ACA

    OR

    That poll shows that 77% of voters either are more likely to vote for the candidate due to his/her lack of support for the ACA OR won't base their decision on whether the candidate supported the ACA

    FIFY

    61 is not as big as 77. And 77 is a very big number.

    Oh, and can you stop with the "polls had Romney ahead" line. It's tiring. And it's just not true. There is only one person who thought Romney still had a chance as ever poll had BO up typically by 2-6 points; and that person was Karl Rove. And Karl Rove made an idiot of himself that night. You can state your positions without having to make li.... errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr make a "misstatement". It's very unbecoming of you.

    November 19, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. Bill from GA

    NameLindaHardge "Your polls are flawed and serve one purpose only and that is to reveal what White America thinks of the President"

    It's too bad blacks didn't think enough of our President to show up at the polls in 2010 and give him a Congress to support his initiatives. I live and vote in an area over 80% black, and the polls were empty in 2010. Get off your butt and vote in 2014!

    November 19, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. TONE

    Right wing media bigots, and bigots on this post will soon run out of news about the ACA,and find themselves pulling their hairs off their heads when the ACA becomes a success, and it will happen.

    November 19, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. RandyIA

    At least one post on here still says it's all because Obama is black. Well guess what, he is just as black today as he was the first day he was elected. Blaming that on his falling numbers now is just stupid. Pull the race card all you want, but the only ones who think the country overall is racist are people who want to be victims. Yes there are still racists out there, but the only thing that has changed between the day he was elected and now, are the policies/laws that he has signed.

    November 19, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. mike

    Obama's entire legacy is based on lies and it is absolutely hilarious

    November 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. tom l

    Hey look! It's the Misstatmenter-In-Chief!

    November 19, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Daniel K.

    If there were a KKK for blacks, you would surely be welcome.
    -------
    There is, it is called the NAACP.

    November 19, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Jim Simpson

    Obama comitted fraud to win the election.

    November 19, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    coulda, woulda.........................whatever. Don't we have enough reality to deal with without throwing in
    confusing speculation?
    The haters still hate, the losers still moan, and those with no answers to anything still pretend that they do.

    I'm glad Romney lost...........and lost.................and will lose again.

    November 19, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Let me put this in terms that a Republican would understand:
    Could've, would've, maybe should've...but God's will will NOT be thwarted.
    He won.
    Decisively.
    Get over it or get out of the way so that we can move the hell on.

    November 19, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  12. If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It

    "And an ABC News/Washington Post poll also suggests that if the 2012 presidential election between the President and GOP challenger Mitt Romney were held today, Romney would hold a slight lead in the popular vote."
    -------–
    Translation: If Obama had told the truth about Obamacare, he would not have been re-elected. Maybe we will give impeachment a chance.

    November 19, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Jlev

    Obama is working on fixing the healthcare system.. It's gonna have glitches.. It's not gonna be perfect.. Chill out America!

    November 19, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  14. Obama is a Crook

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Let me put this in terms that a Republican would understand:
    Could've, would've, maybe should've...but God's will will NOT be thwarted.
    He won.
    Decisively.
    Get over it or get out of the way so that we can move the hell on
    ____________________________________
    I agree lets move on impeaching his butt. worthless human being.

    November 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It

    You can tell that Liberals are in full panic mode....race cards are flying everywhere. They have every reason to panic.

    November 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  16. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Well... What about the re-election of GWB? Richard Nixon? So what?!?!

    November 19, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. Dina

    He had to lie because he knew he would not have been elected. He fooled America twice. Shame on us.

    November 19, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. freedom

    The democrats own this 100% – and that includes you, Hilary! Can't spin your way out of this debacle. That's what you get for selling yourself out to Obama to be Sec of State, just to get to the top – but then you blew it on top of it – with the Benghazi lies and tragedy. The Obama administration is comprised of fraud and betrayal.

    November 19, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. daviddavid

    Simply b/c there is a D next to the guy who is lying that's A-OK. That is why the country is lost because of fools that worship at the altar of the Dems. Blind bigotry, & blind ideology in the refusal to accept what Obama and the Dems did and hold them accountable

    November 19, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Gft Goose

    OK – the polls have spoken. Throw the rascal out.

    November 19, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. s~

    Except for death of OBL, for which Obama deserves very little credit, what good has he done?

    November 19, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. A True Conservative

    @Wake Up People – yes there is a race card – unfortunately it's used by the masters to keep minorities in their place. Too bad the minorities see the wrong people as their masters.........and ignore or denigrate those who would actually set them free......

    November 19, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Mark

    Safe to say the Mt. Rushmore dudes aren't scooting over.

    November 19, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. CYA

    Not worried. He'll come back. Time heals all wounds. He's still got over 3 years of presidency to go.

    November 19, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Enough is Enough

    Are you American or Dominican Mama? Pick one – you can't be both. Second, do you understand why the founding fathers selected a representative republic over a democracy? Based on your comment, I think not.

    November 19, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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