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

    You tell them Guitar Man. By the way, if you get ill, be sure to tell them you do NOT have insurance, you can NOT afford to pay for the care and ask for chair so that you can sit quietly and pass away.

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

    The polls may be misleading, but Obama will win no matter what the polls say. Who could trust the Flip Mitt?

    July 2, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. jackie

    I didn't vote for Obama the first time. But he has done some of the things he said he would. Not many president's do that. Some of them haven't been real popular. I think his biggest challenge now is to insure the middle class will not slip deeper in the hole. Also, do not let those greedy insurance companies take advantage of those that will be seeking coverage under the new plan. It is supposed to be affordable. A thousand dollars a month for health insurance is not affordable.

    July 2, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Zackery A. Conklin

    This will never work even though I wish I would. The public needs education, not a few public figures that have monetarily biased opinions about large scale health. Real health comes down to the day to day choices made by an individual, not BIG decisions for the masses. If you want health education that won't bore the hell out of you please check my 3 year long, 50+ Doc's & growing daily, project: THIS is health in real life baby!

    July 2, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. derriquestuckey

    Well, considering only liberals were polled, this doesn't take into account the tens of thousands that have already jumped ship over this issue.

    July 2, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. ObamaForTheMiddleClass

    The United States Agency for International Development, under Obama's handpicked appointee Rajiv Shah, has championed outsourcing around the world and has used millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to train workers in developing countries for jobs at companies that specialize in offshoring IT, manufacturing, and call center work from the United States.

    Obama's support for outsourcing doesn't end there. While the President talks tough when he's, say, stumping before Michigan factory workers, he and his representatives strike a different tone abroad, especially in India. "The United States not only welcomes India as a rising global power, we fervently support it, and we have worked to help make it a reality," Obama said during a speech to the Indian parliament in late 2010.

    Obama's Commerce secretary: "Ours is increasingly a partnership of equals, with major U.S. multinationals like Cisco, GE, and IBM locating major research and development facilities here, and depending on Indian scientists and engineers to do growing amounts of higher-value-added work."

    July 2, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. rxlawdude

    @Guitar Man: Sorry, you don't get to pick and choose what your tax dollars are going to. There will always be something the government does that you or I might disagree with, but the difference between you and I is that I understand I can't direct how my taxes will be used.

    It's an untenable position you have, Sir.

    July 2, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  8. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    after the right wing and GOP are done throwing their HISSY FIT like they always do when they come out on the losing end of a situation, go back and focus on the economy. And you bet they now have their fingers and toes crossed that the June jobs report is a bad one so that they can add it to their attack. They need to talk less about repeal and start work on making the plan to make the bill even better.

    July 2, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. Q

    I like Romney, but not happy he evaded military service in Vietnam through his wealth and privilage. Not a good sign for a leader. I also wonder about the millions of dollars he has stashed in off shore accounts. Whats up with that. Still probobly vote for him though...

    July 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Mammy

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

    July 2, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. GBfromOhio

    If telephone polls were to people with land lines, then throw out the results ... they are meaningless.

    July 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. rakez

    romney will not win, as far as health care goes romney invented it. millions of Ron Paul supporters will not vote for him.

    July 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Patriot Awesome

    Once the debates start Obama will open up a much bigger lead. Romney has flip flopped and pandered himself into a corner.

    July 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. rlp.

    Obama has lied just about everything he says. The only thing he has done for jobs is desroy them !

    July 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. cali girl

    It sounds like people have made up their minds already. If they were for President Obama before this then they still will be. The undecided will more than likely look into more important topics that serve them.

    July 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. joe

    do people forget the 2010 elections? T party alive &well. Wait till november fools

    July 2, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. rlp.

    You just got a big tax hike, and not people over 250.000 like obama said,, it went down to 33.000 he lied !

    July 2, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. vulpecula

    Only things I want to know now are who will Romney's VP pick be and when do the debates start.

    July 2, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Pam in TX

    The people will decide at the polls this November and that's the best outcome of the Supreme Courts decision. No one can argue about the election, though I'm sure there will be bleatings from the losing side of voter fraud, voter intimidation, cheating, voter round-ups by unions and organizers, but masses of people are going to turn out to vote and the outcome will be overwhelming and decisive in one way or another, which is much better than what we have now. If only the Dems hadn't written such a huge, convoluted collection of new laws and regulations that make the new agencies and powers impossible to comprehend or to understand the immense rammifications. One wonders if they did it on purpose.

    July 2, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. I love Romney

    I think Romney should give everyone a $100 for his vote then he will be spreading the wealth, broke, helping the middle class and every other class in between and everyone will love him Til the $100 runs out......

    July 2, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. once upon a horse

    you ever notice that when a poll gives a result that a person doesn't agree with, they denounce the poll? Read some of the post here if you don't believe me.

    July 2, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Florida

    Hey Guitar Man my conscience didnt support Bush's illegal wars and tortures but my tax money funded them.

    July 2, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. greyeyed

    It's breathtaking how few people in the comments understand polling. You don't trust this poll? Fine. There will be others on this specific question and we can compare them all over time...and if they resemble the clear pattern coming out of previous polls, the CNN health care poll is not at all surprising. Fox News has Obama up 5 points for cryin' out loud. Was that poll poorly designed, sampled, and executed as well? (Has Fox ever polled Romney ahead?) Maybe it was. Maybe they all are. Maybe everyone is wrong because the data doesn't agree with certain preconceived notions.

    But I'm sure if the poll went the other way the very same people would be pointing to it as solid evidence supporting their position.

    July 2, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  24. Jean Sartre

    Ironically, I have both a landline an (2) cell phones, and in my 70-years of life here in America, I have never been called by a poll!

    That probably means that the good Polish people don't want to talk with me or it could mean that most of these polls have a select group of people that they keep calling over and over again... in any event, I really don't have a lot of faith in polls...

    Then too, there are a lot of folks, both young and old, who only have a cell phone and I suspect that these folks are under-represented in any of these polls...

    We should also understand that the Republicans have already spent over $250,000,000 to date, simply to diss, mis-represent and lie about what is and is not in the ACA Bill... that's a lot of lying to get through to the FACTS...

    July 2, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. TexDoc

    Simple people. If you like Obamacare, re-elect the guy. If you don't, vote for Romney. End of story.

    July 2, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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