Gallup found that 47 percent of Americans want a GOP president to repeal the law, while 44 percent oppose that.
However, 72 percent of Americans believe the individual mandate in the health care reform package is unconstitutional, while 20 percent believe it is constitutional.
Along party lines, a majority of Democrats — 56 percent — believe the health care mandate is unconstitutional and 37 percent defend it as constitutional. Among Republicans, 94 percent view that part of the law as unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, a USA Today/Gallup poll of swing states shows that a majority of crucial swing state voters oppose the law. In fact, 53 percent of swing state voters see the health care reforms as a “bad thing,” while 38 percent see it as a “good thing.”
The two key takeaways for me: 1) a clear majority of self-identified Democrats say Obamacare is unconstitutional, and 2) the health reform is unpopular in swing states by a clear majority.
Regarding the first point: Gallup also reported that Democrats oppose repealing the law, 14-77, while Republicans support repeal 87-9. So, while Republicans’ views of the laws’ constitutionality more or less track their opinion of whether it should remain law, Democrats are more likely than not to acknowledge Obamacare violates the Constitution and yet believe it should remain law anyway.
I don’t think we can divine much from this about whether Republicans would support a law they believed to be unlawful, since they opposed Obamacare from the get-go. It’s clear, however, that many Democrats have no problem supporting an unlawful law. Which would seem to track well with their broader apathy (at best) about what the nation’s founding document does or doesn’t say or allow.
Second, I wonder how much Obamacare’s apparent unpopularity in swing states has to do with the stronger support Rick Santorum has in many of them compared to Mitt Romney, according to a couple of recent polls. It’s true that Santorum, as the last GOP candidate to get a full vetting in this race, may be only temporarily held in higher esteem by these voters. But it’s also true that Romney has not been able to create daylight between Obamacare and his reform in Massachusetts in voters’ minds — which is one big reason he’s been able to close the deal with GOP voters in this primary, at least so far. If the latter is the larger factor, Romney’s “electability” argument is seriously damaged.
– By Kyle Wingfield