March 11th, 2014
07:32 AM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: Support for Obamacare slightly edges up

Washington (CNN) - Support for the country's new health care law appears to be rebounding slightly, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/ORC International survey released Tuesday indicates that nearly all of the increased support comes from upper-income and college-educated Americans.

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The poll's Tuesday release comes on the same day that a special election is being held in Florida's 13th Congressional District to fill a vacant U.S. House seat. Obamacare has become a major issue in the competitive contest to fill the remainder of the term of the late GOP Rep. Bill Young.

According to the poll, 39% of Americans say they support the health care law, up from 35% in December, a record low in CNN polling. The uptick of four percentage points is within the survey's sampling error. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they oppose the measure, down five points from December.

"Not all of the opposition to the health care law comes from the right," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-nine percent say they oppose the law because it's too liberal, but 12% say they oppose it because it's not liberal enough."

That means half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it doesn't go far enough. Roughly 6% oppose the law but don't have an opinion on whether it is too liberal or not liberal enough.

The poll indicates that the rebound in support for Obamacare has come almost entirely among upscale Americans. The law made no headway among people who make less than $50,000 - 35% of them supported it in December, and 35% support it now.  But among people who make $50,000 or more, support rose from 36% to 46%.

"The same pattern holds true for college education - virtually no change among people who never went to college, but a nine-point change among those who did," Holland adds.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from Friday through Sunday, with 801 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

soundoff (441 Responses)
  1. saftgek

    Those who do not support the ACA simply do not KNOW the language and intent of the ACA. They, likely, are simply the haters of the Ultra Right – who care nothing about the overall condition of our country – and are willing to flush its future down the drain, simply to act out on their racist hatred and vile, vulgar personae.

    March 11, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. ghostwriter

    Me...learn to read.....

    "Not all of the opposition to the health care law comes from the right," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-nine percent say they oppose the law because it's too liberal, but 12% say they oppose it because it's not liberal enough."

    That means half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it doesn't go far enough. Roughly 6% oppose the law but don't have an opinion on whether it is too liberal or not liberal enough.

    March 11, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Thomas

    I myself find the most interesting of two poles (yes poles) that first show the truth of what people think,

    and my encounters with people suggest they prefer the employee insurance plan they already have,

    because it's the least expensive and has the type of care that they like not losing doctors, etc

    in addition to, well one other pole.. the one you walk away from opposite from the worse option..

    (if i had employee insurance i would keep it.. but obama care is the only option for those with no

    current means, and well. 🙂 that's the 'pole' that you walk to and away from)

    sorry for the humor, but when i heard a doctors round table a few years ago at a nice breakfast

    speaking of looking into private insurance plans, i KNEW where the health care exchanges were going to go.

    good money = good health care, poor money = poor health care

    the exchanges are certainly showing that with which way the doctors are going based on the type of care

    they provide to the NUMBER of patients they provide it to.


    thomas 🙂


    thomas 🙂

    March 11, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Rick

    If it's such a great law why does the obama administration keep pushing back it's full implementation ? Number one reason is they know it would hurt them in the mid terms coming up. This is a poltical game.

    March 11, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Name


    March 11, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. InkyGuy

    It's been well established when surveyed people approve of and like the provisions of the ACA ("Obamacare"), but if you ask if they like or approve of "Obamacare" they say they don't.

    In short, a large part of the American people do not actually know what Obamacare is or or how it works. They simply base their opinions on the propaganda that is bandied about in the popular media and TV commercials.

    March 11, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    Rudy NYC


    Obamacare was just a bad law, simple as that. There were other ways to address the uninsured in this country without it affecting so many other Americans who were happy with their insurance. If a law creates more problems than it fixes, it is a BAD LAW. There is no arguing your way around it and I hope we vote every single loser out who voted to pass this thing.
    Let's hear about these "other ways to address the uninsured" then. Be a patriot, and share your solution with us. Okay?


    Maybe this is where those "death panels" the Sams of the world are always crying about come into play.

    In the anti-Sink ads run by the jolly (the professional lobbyist hoping to become U.S. congressman) campaign, jolly is now spouting that tired rethug line about "replacing Obamacare", although as they ALWAYS do, he doesn't say WHAT would replace it.

    March 11, 2014 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. mitchgam

    Only those who were already purchasing their health care directly from the insurance companies understand what changed.
    All the rest base their option on what the various news media outlets report.

    If you get your healthcare though your job or the government, you were not really effected by this law, so your opinion is not based on facts, just hearsay.

    March 11, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  9. ghostwriter

    Ken, it wasn't set up that way. It was only supposed to be a portal to the insurance companies own site. What you suggest would only make sense if the fed was collecting the premiums.

    March 11, 2014 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  10. Tony

    Me, you said this:

    I am not a GOP supporter, but according to liberals on this site, if you don't agree with them 100% you are a conservative.

    Then you said this:

    Spin spin spin liberals, man you are getting desperate!!!

    You are not consistent. You don't like it when people call you a conservative because they disagree with you, then you call everyone who disagrees with you a liberal. You said that 85% of people were happy with the old health care system and they just wanted some tweaks, then you said that you want a true socialized system. The old system, even with tweaks, would not be a true socialized system. You said that you are part of the 12% who think the law does not go far enough. No, you opposes the law MORE than you want to replace it with a more liberal law, so you are closer to the 45% that really oppose the law (57% -12% = 45%) than the 12% that want a more liberal law.

    March 11, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Don

    Man, There are a lot of Kool-Aid drinkers excited that ONLY 61% disapprove of the ACA.

    March 11, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. Publius Now

    It is doubtful that the12% who opposed ACA because it is not Liberal enough would support the GOP's policy of repeal and replace with nothing. These people probably support Single Payer and consider ACA better than nothing. So adding them to the Conservative's Anti-Obamacare-Cult is an error. So the real math is 35% support ACA + 12% support Single Payer = 47% verses 39% who support the GOP's policy of throwing us to the wolves when some executive decides to boost his bonus by killing a few jobs.

    March 11, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. LT Fang

    I support Obamacare, but only because it's better than GOP's great alternative called NoCare.

    March 11, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC


    What a dumb question, Do you oppose it because of it's Liberalness?
    I suppose that that scenario doesn't fit your narrative, does it? You must either totally oppose it or fully support it. Right?

    March 11, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. T.W.A

    When this thing fails and the government has to bailout obamacare with everyones hard earned tax dollars , maybe folks will wake up, teaparty 2014!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Blueangel

    I would not answer that I oppose it. I support it rather than nothing, but I would rather have had single payer. It will eventually be single payer, but I guess because of conservatives, we will have to go through all the painful steps to get there.

    March 11, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. Jo

    You'd think that with America aging fast, that its people would stay well informed about current events, healthcare options, legislative work that effects their healthcare, etc. But not really. Seems that the older they get, the more interested they are in remember the right talking point that some talking head is spewing from a cable show that is sponsored by special interest groups.

    They are literally choosing to buy snake oil instead of using their brain to process the best options for their long term care AND the long term care of this country. I don't believe boomers when they start rambling on about the welfare of our kids and grandkids. It's all 'me, me, me' for them & when it gets down to it, they are also shooting themselves in the foot with their chosen ignorance.

    March 11, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. juliazheng843

    The middle class get screwed over by this law. single payer would be better than this crap.

    March 11, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. dontpretend

    So, what's the sigma on this poll?

    March 11, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. betterdays

    That's funny... When I saw the teaser headline, I thought, "39%; that's awful." Then I clicked to find that the number actually represents an improvement. Yikes. But you know, the president has told us time and time again what "Americans want," so I guess we got it, regardless of what any poll might say.

    March 11, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. RCM

    How question are worded & asked sways the Poll the way you want it to read.

    March 11, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. rosethornne

    Gee whiz, you mean people hating the thing before it ever even went unto effect didn't know what they were talking about?

    March 11, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. John Illinois

    This gigantic socialist, welath redistribution welfare program must go! For all you people out there that will say it is not a welfare program....end all subsidies and see how it goes!

    March 11, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. Enough is Enough

    The uptick is within the margin of error....

    @Malory Archer " the money you save is coming out of the pockets of the health insurance industry."

    Are you really that naive? Do you truly believe that? All costs get passed along either through higher costs or larger government subsidies. There is no such thing as a free lunch – no matter how badly you want there to be one.....

    March 11, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. just asking

    shouldn't the headline really read 'obamacare still opposed by large majority of americans even after 4 years, billions in marketing and now seeing the train wreck it is'?

    or maybe...

    'americans don't think obamacare sucks as bad as they did, but still think it sucks'???

    March 11, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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