CNN Poll: Health care ruling changes views of Supreme Court
July 2nd, 2012
11:30 AM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Health care ruling changes views of Supreme Court

Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the national health care law may not have changed many minds regarding the controversial measure, but a new poll indicates it sure did change Americans views of the high court.

According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday, the public is divided on last week's ruling, with 50% saying they agree with the Supreme Court's decision and 49% saying they disagree. And there is the expected partisan divide, with more than eight in ten Democrats agreeing with the decision, more than eight in ten Republicans disagreeing, and independent voters divided, with 52% disagreeing and 47% agreeing.

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The poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, entirely after the high court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

"Despite howls of protest from many Republican leaders, only about one in five Americans - and only 35% of the Republican rank and file - say they are angry about the decision," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And despite victory laps by many Democratic leaders, only one in six Americans - and only one in three Democrats nationwide - say they feel enthusiastic about the court's ruling."

But what have changed are perceptions of the high court. "As recently as April, Republicans and Democrats had virtually identical positive opinions on the Supreme Court. But not any more," adds Holland. "That's the biggest change that the court decision has created."

The court's approval rating among Democrats jumped by 23 points; to 73%. Among Republicans, it fell by 21 points, to 31%. Approval of the Supreme Court among independents edged up five points, to 53%.

Not surprisingly, opinions of Chief Justice John Roberts are also divided along partisan lines, with a majority of Democrats holding a favorable view of him compared to only three in ten Republicans. But more than a third of all Americans are unsure how they view Roberts, probably a result of the low profile that he and his colleagues have kept for many years. Roberts sided with the liberals on the high court to uphold the law.

Overall, three in ten say the high court is too liberal, with 22% saying it's too conservative and 46% saying it's about right.

The Republican led House of Representatives has scheduled a July 11th vote to attempt to repeal the health care law. The survey indicates that 51% say Congress should repeal all provisions of the measure, with 47% saying no.

What about the individual mandate itself? Forty-eight percent favor it and 51% oppose the mandate. One thing that Americans do agree on is that the health insurance mandate is a tax, as ruled by the Supreme Court. Six in ten feel that way.

"But it is also worth noting that the number of Americans who favor all or most of the provisions in the bill has gone up a bit since last year, and despite roughly half looking to repeal all the provisions in the law, only one in eight say they oppose everything in the bill," says Holland.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from 28-July 1 with 1,517 adult Americans 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

Do you agree or disagree with Thursday's Supreme Court ruling? Sound off in the comments below.

Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Health care • Supreme Court
soundoff (49 Responses)

    This debate is so old. Get over it GOBP. You lost! Can we get back to "WHERE ARE THE JOBS?"

    July 2, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. rs

    Facts are facts. This Court is the most conservative in a generation. This is just further proof of the Republican Party's out-of-control spinout to the right. Roberts NOT conservative? Give me a break.

    July 2, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Bill from GA

    AS George Will said recently, this is a major victory for the Right.

    It limits the Government's rights under the Commerce Clause, and it motivates the right-wing voters, helping romney.

    Maybe Justice Roberts was being smarter than we give him credit for.

    July 2, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  4. jean2009

    I think Fareed Zakaria did a wonderful program about health care on Sunday.

    July 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Jesus Christ Superstar

    If the Republicans & Tea Party don't want health care, then stop going to the DR, stop going to the ER, and stop calling 911. I want healthcare so I will continue to use the DR and use the ER if needed. I don't like string beans, but if someone else wants them, I really don't care, even though having string beans at the store lowers the cost of the broccoli I buy since we have more people in the pot. It's simple economics.

    July 2, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. betterdays

    And now we just have to pay for the decision Literally and figuratively. Unless we can't afford it (individually, that is).

    July 2, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. sonny chapman

    A tax on "free riders". It was a grand idea when Mitt was talking about RomneyCare. What a hypocrite.

    July 2, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    Regardless of Roberts siding with the minority, this is the most far-right conservative activist Supreme Court in history.

    July 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. lreed580

    Pollsters should ask those who disapprove if they truly oppose ACA or don't think it goes far enough.

    July 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. ST

    Chief Justice Roberts is most intelligent individual in this land. The man put everything in a balance or rather borrowing the slogan: FAIR & BALANCED!

    July 2, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Donkey Party

    betterdays – As opposed to being a freeloader? What happened to individual responsibility? The mandate is a Republican idea, why hate it now?

    July 2, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. djr

    "One thing that Americans do agree on is that the health insurance mandate is a tax, as ruled by the Supreme Court."

    But of course the Supreme Court did not rule that the health insurance mandate is a tax. It ruled that the penalty imposed on people who refuse to purchase insurance is constitutionally permitted as a tax. You will only be taxed if you refuse to purchase health insurance. This is not a trivial difference.

    July 2, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Siji.adebayo

    I think we should all have a good health systems that will give every American to live on . My question is who will pay for this?

    July 2, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. B.

    The Republicans have historically been against ANY legislation that helped minorities, poor, elderly,disenfranchised,women,minority voters, because they all represent people that support Democratic candidates and the Republicans refuse to allow it.

    The Republicans support Business interests, Wall Street, NRA interests,the Wealthy, War, no taxes regardless of intent.

    They are not really interested in people, but Money and the power that it brings to control just about everything.They are on their way to Owning Government at the state and federal levels thanks to Citizens United.

    July 2, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Vince

    I could never have a serious discussion regarding domestic policy with anyone wearing an 18th century outfit or hanging bags of tea from a hat...unless it was Halloween.

    July 2, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Robert Smith

    The SCOTUS says it a tax but the POTUS says it is not a tax. So SCOTUS says since it must be a tax in order to be legal then the POTUS is arguing with the SCOTUS that is it not legal in there eyes. The POTUS wants their cake and eat it too and will do anything to get it that way.

    July 2, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    The 48% who ride in the cart
    pulled by working tax payers
    who still have a job
    think everything is just fine !!!

    To life on the government plantation !!!

    July 2, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. George Will Also Said

    Bill in GA, George Will also said this about Romney:

    Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate.

    July 2, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    People should keep in mind, that only 1 of 9 justices declared the penalty on the individual mandate a tax. Republicans will try to use Reconcilliation to kill the entire law, but they won't be able to. The ACA is far more than a "spending measure."

    July 2, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. purgoldabroad

    Unsurprising results, given the typical partisan breakdown. What would opinions be among Dems or Reps who have children under age 26 (who are still eligible for parents' health plans), or those who have pre-existing conditions (and now should find it easier to enroll in another insurance plan)? Or those who have insurance of any kind and understand that you pay into the pool even though you may not personally benefit. At least with health insurance, it is certain that benefits will be needed sometime, and it's a lot easier to nickel-and-dime ahead of time than wait for the big hammer to fall all at once.

    July 2, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Free Man in the Republic of Texas wrote:

    The 48% who ride in the cart pulled by working tax payers who still have a job think everything is just fine !!!
    You can thank Ronald Reagan for the current progressive tax policy that allows so many to not pay federal income tax. Know your history.

    July 2, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. rob

    @ B.
    You just summed up the entire Democrat campaign for this fall. They can't run on their record, they desparately want Obamacare out of the conversation and they are out of ideas to solve the huge budget problems outside of "taxing the rich"

    July 2, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  23. anoel2005

    This SC decision helped Romney.

    I'm glad.

    July 2, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Pam from Iowa

    I was extremely disappointed that Chief Justice Roberts had been bought and paid for by the GOP!
    Anyone who thinks the "tax" premise did not come straight out of the Republican Party has their head in the sand!
    Shame on your Justice Roberts!!!!

    July 2, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. DC Johnny

    Agreeing with this decision is lunacy. Whether you agree with the general concept of the law or not, the Chief Justice essentially approved/invented tax that is not one of the enumerated legitimate federal tax types. The law, as it stood, was simply unconstitutional.

    It is appalling that so many can stand up and announce that the ACA was justified or proven to be good policy by this decision. Whether or not it winds up being good policy is left to be determined, but for the reasons given by the Chief Justice and the four Liberal drones of the Supreme Court, it is an absolute joke of a decision and a flat out mockery of our Constitution.

    July 2, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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