Poll suggests Obamacare could have cost Obama second term
November 19th, 2013
12:52 PM ET
11 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. Robert N. constant

    This is another CNN "non story" based on Tea Party talking points. Meanwhile, there is increasing evidence that Tea Party bankrolers, the Koch Brothers, funneled a small fortune into non profit organizations that have been sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. CNN has chosen not to even mention the rising number of allegations about this.
    Could it be that the advertising might of the Koch Brothers financial empire is a factor?

    November 19, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    Oh my goodness!! How will he ever win that coveted third term?? Like someone else so eloquently put it..... Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

    November 19, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Outbark

    Obama's poll ratings – 42% (Source: this article)

    Rob Ford's approval ratings – 44% (Source: CBC news network, not directly linked so the admins will allow post)

    Umm...
    --------------–
    Republican poll ratings 24%. Duh.

    November 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. BADGUY

    EVERY new program has startup problems: What are they with Obamacare? The Website: On the mend and should be ready by end of November. Already, it has been fixed to a useable condition. The 5% who will lose insurance: These policies do NOT meet minimum standards. They MUST be upgraded to minimum standards or it is a hazard to the rest of us. Tthose 5%'ers will either qualify for medicare....or a subsidy....or will be required to pay for the upgraded insurance like the rest of Americans.

    November 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Hector Slagg

    Well Lessee,
    So far "Obama Care" has kept unemployment high, totally screwed people that already had Some Form of Health Care, to name but a couple. Don't like the News? I imagine it signal's a Republican Landslide next election.

    November 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Let's see...

    ...a man that has been out of the lime light for a year vs a man that has been assaulted everyday on every issue for the past 6 months straight...

    ...I wonder why the poll is skewed...

    ...so we need to play the 47% tape again and remind people why no one liked Mitt???

    ...anyways, Reagan had Iran Contra, Clinton had Monica, Bush had Katrina, and Obama has Obamacare...ALL second term troubles that faded away...

    ...out of all those mentioned below, Obamacare will be the only one that will be a triumph, like the surge was for Bush, though Democrats never admitted that...

    November 19, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Donna

    Randy, San Francisco
    If the annoying kinks are resolved within the next couple of months, everything will be forgiven and forgotten.
    --

    Tens of millions of Americans losing their healthcare plan and possibly their doctor after Obama promised them they could keep both, PERIOD. An "annoying kink"??? Forgive and forget will NOT be part of the American psyche come November 2014. I can guarantee that.

    The lefties in here think this is all about the disaster of the web site but this is far more personal and damaging.

    Millions of Americans are going to be paying vastly more for healthcare under Obamacare. More for premiums, more for deductibles. The efffect on our economy will be great as billions gets diverted to pay for the Obamacare disaster. And just as employers start shifting people to part time or reducing staff to escape Obamacare.

    Oh this disaster is just beginning people. You ain't seen NOTHING yet!

    November 19, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. paul

    The only time we see this president in time of trouble are when he is taking in an oregon State basketball game, traveling abroad with the family, or appearing on some television entertainment show. I'm tired of all the shows. Wish he'd get to work and actually do something besides blame others and say he's sorry.

    November 19, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Bill

    Still would have voted for Obama, Romney turned me off from the get go. The only guy, I thought was honest and accurate about the economy was Ron Paul and everyone thought he was nuts. I think the ACA stinks because it does not address the inflated pharmaceutical costs and hospital costs and healtcare Insurance Premium increases. It also seems to affect mainly small businesses and those who work for them. Anyone who has a decent wage can afford better insurance. It does have a lot of good things too like they can't refuse you for preexisting conditions or charge you more because of it. I think if the politicians try to fix it and only replace the bad stuff that people can cheat the system, would be better for America than appealing it or leaving it as is.

    November 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. T.W.A

    Everyone needs to quit complaining , if you voted for Obama you deserve what you get ! I hope everyone opens their eyes and vote anything but democrat in 2014 ! GO TEA PARTY !!!!!!

    November 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This entire article and many others like it are a blattant attempt to keep the President from achieving his 3rd term......
    Bwahahahahahaha!!
    Tell you what, let's ask Mitt the Twit (England's 2012 nickname for Romney, not mine) what he thinks.....or let's not.

    November 19, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. TONE

    @ True Conservative or wacko bird whatever
    Did you proof read what you just write you are talking about teapartiers being our masters and will set us minorities free, the same people who carry around confederate flags at their rallies, and you know what that mean, bigots who would have loved slavery to continue.

    November 19, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. just saying

    cmml
    What's most amazing to me is that 36% of Americans are happy to very happy with the rollout of Obamacare.
    ---

    15% of americans think elvis is still alive. not sure how to explain the remaining 21%. oh wait! those are all the people signing up for free medicaid healthcare.

    November 19, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    Randy, San Francisco
    If the annoying kinks are resolved within the next couple of months, everything will be forgiven and forgotten.
    -

    Tens of millions of Americans losing their healthcare plan and possibly their doctor after Obama promised them they could keep both, PERIOD. An "annoying kink"??? Forgive and forget will NOT be part of the American psyche come November 2014. I can guarantee that.

    The lefties in here think this is all about the disaster of the web site but this is far more personal and damaging.

    Millions of Americans are going to be paying vastly more for healthcare under Obamacare. More for premiums, more for deductibles. The efffect on our economy will be great as billions gets diverted to pay for the Obamacare disaster. And just as employers start shifting people to part time or reducing staff to escape Obamacare.

    Oh this disaster is just beginning people. You ain't seen NOTHING yet!
    ******************
    Donna, do you actually have a family that lost coverage before the ACA?

    November 19, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. name. willard

    Kick out of presdient obama at white house so I'm belived that people are like keep play games vote support for presdient obama

    November 19, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  16. Chris

    I doubt the numbers are 42%. If they are...they're padded or the question is something that's partially loaded. No normal sane person would agree with what this guy, or the previous guy did.

    November 19, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Rachel

    And we're now finding out that the Obama administration manipulated the unemployment figures back in 2012 just before the election. Seems that if most Americans knew about that as well as what was really in Obamacare, we would've had a new president in 2012.

    November 19, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. ChrisM

    Are people really just figuring out now that that's why it didn't take effect until 2013?

    November 19, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. srcactus

    This political charlatan has been exposed and is now accepted for what he is/was. Americans will erase the harm done and pick ourselves up and move forward, we always have when faced with adversity and I believe once this mess is behind us we will do so again!

    November 19, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh, and (President) Obama's poll ratings....yeah, there's something else that keeps me up at night...LAUGHING!!!!!

    November 19, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. g_mad

    Stupid what if stroy. The only way Obama won in the first place is they cheated at the polls.

    November 19, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Tony

    DJ, Romney is the bigger liar. Obama's "If you like your health plan, you can keep it" is true for most people. In contrast, even Romney's supporters knew that he was a liar, but they still voted for him. Which makes Republicans' current outrage about lying all the more laughable.

    November 19, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Anthony Talbert

    It is amazing how CNN tries to spin things for Mr. Obama. 49 – 45% of registered voters would favor Romney right now but, of course, according to CNN that doesn't mean that Romney would win. Because of the electoral college. Indeed, true, but not really the important thing, is it? The important point is the rather significant switch from Obama to Romney.

    November 19, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    T.W.A

    Everyone needs to quit complaining , if you voted for Obama you deserve what you get !

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    My family voted for Obama, and our lives are pretty good. Then again, we don't blame the government anytime we have a personal setback or things don't go our way.

    November 19, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. styx

    And since these numbers his approval has fallen by 1.5 more points.

    Let us now remember that the MSM is about to cover the new Afghanistan proposal with our troops to be stationed there until the middle of the next decade, as well as the possible census tampering regarding the pre-election jobs report.

    Obama is in for a rough week again.

    November 19, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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