It's supposed to be the president's signature legislative achievement, but a majority of registered voters in the battleground states that matter most support a repeal of the health care overhaul and say it's a "bad thing," according to a new USA Today/Gallup Poll. The newspaper's lead story by Susan Page shows middle-of-the-road voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania disparaging the bill and calling it unconstitutional:
--Was it a good thing or a bad thing that Congress passed the health reform law? Swing states: Good thing, 38%; bad thing, 53% ... Nationwide: Good thing, 42%; bad thing, 50%.
--In the long run, how do you think it will affect your family? Nationwide: make things better, 22%; not make much difference, 33%; make things worse, 41%.
--Do you think the individual mandate is constitutional? Nationwide: Constitutional, 21%; unconstitutional, 75%
Some analysts attribute the unpopularity of the bill to the GOP presidential candidates, who have been united in stumping for its repeal this election season. In terms of health care's importance in the minds of voters, the issue ranks near the top of the list behind the economy and the national deficit. Still, swing state voters' views on health care are certainly not necessarily determinate of the general election. Taking a larger view of voter sentiment, the president is fairing well, with his favorability on the rise according to a Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll. "President Barack Obama’s approval rating is 53 percent, up 9 percentage points in four months. Matched up against his Republican opponents, he leads Mitt Romney by 10 points (53-43) and Rick Santorum by 11 (53-42). Even against a generic, unnamed Republican untarnished by attacks, Obama is up 5 percentage points. In November, he was tied."