Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Americans protest health bill (photo: Americans for Prosperity)
Outrage over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare,” gave rise the tea-party movement and fueled a historic cleaning out of Congress in 2010, but new poll data shows the fervor is fading, as fewer and fewer Americans demand the controversial health-care reform’s repeal.
According to Rasmussen’s weekly survey of 1,000 likely voters – the most recent taken on April 29th and 30th – now only 47 percent of respondents favor repeal, while 42 percent want to keep the legislation.
Furthermore, the opposition to repeal has hovered around 40 percent for more than a year, but the percentage of those who want to reverse Obamacare has been steadily declining – from a peak of 63 percent last May, to the low 50s early last month, to 47 percent by the end of April.
Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation blames the fading fury on clever implementation of the law and a failure of tea-party groups to adjust their message accordingly.
“We have a problem,” Phillips told WND. “Our messaging has been that if Obamacare passed, it would be the end of the world as we know it. Obamacare passed, and the world did not stop turning.
“The problem with Obamacare is that it does not take effect immediately, and that has caused some of the support for repeal to fade,” he continued. “I noticed the average wait to see a doctor in Massachusetts has gone to 55 days. This is what we are going to see as Obamacare comes into effect, but by that time, it will be difficult … to repeal.”
Other indications in Rasmussen polls point to waning passion on the issue.
For example, following the 2010 midterm elections and a string of judicial rulings challenging the constitutionality of the law, 52 percent of voters in mid-December told Rasmussen they expected Obamacare to be successfully repealed. That number has since slipped to only 40 percent. Only 10 percent now respond that it’s “very likely” Republicans will be able to repeal the law.
Republican efforts to label the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a “job-killing” measure are also losing ground.
“The number of voters who believe the health-care law will be bad for the country has fallen to a new low of 45 percent, down seven points from a week ago,” Rasmussen reports. “Prior to this survey, belief that the measure will be bad for the country has ranged from 47 percent to 57 percent since March 2010.”
Specifically, belief that repeal of Obamacare would be good for the economy fell to a record low, dropping to 39 percent, while another 32 percent think overturning the legislation would actually hurt the economy. In the same vein, only 25 percent believe repealing the law would create jobs, while 36 percent disagree.
According to Rasmussen Reports, the margin of sampling error in the survey is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95-percent level of confidence. Field work for the survey was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.