The GOP will still regret their Obamacare intransigence, by @DavidOAtkins

The GOP will still regret their Obamacare intransigence

by David Atkins

The problematic rollout of Obamacare has seemed to validate the Republican strategy of doubling down on opposition to Obamacare. The polling suggests that the Democratic Party has suffered in the polls due to the rollout, both in terms of the generic Congressional ballot and the President's approval ratings. Still, as more and more people sign up for the program, the GOP's bet will likely still turn out to be a bad one--especially if Democrats go on offense about its strengths and advantage. Greg Sargent has the rundown:

But now top Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg – having just done extensive polling in 86 competitive House districts — is advising Dems they should go on offense over the Affordable Care Act. The key finding: Even though voters in the battlegrounds have extreme doubts about the law, they still prefer implementing it to the GOP stance of repeal. And after a month of crushingly awful press for Obamacare, opinions on this matter in the battlegrounds have barely budged since October.

Dem pollster Stan Greenberg will roll out the new polling on a conference call with reporters later this morning. The poll — sponsored by Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and Democracy Corps – was conducted in 50 GOP-held districts and 36 Dem-held districts from December 3-8, right after the administration announced its fix to the website. The key findings:

* Offered a straight choice between “implementing and fixing” the health law and “repealing and replacing” it, voters in these 86 districts prefer “implementing and fixing” by five points, 49-44. That’s only a slight difference from October, when implement and fix led by seven, 51-44.

* Implement and fix is preferred, even though the poll also finds widespread skepticism remains about seeing the law’s benefits. Only 33 percent of these battleground voters say the law will make things better for them, versus 46 percent who say it will make things harder, leaving a sizable chunk uncertain.
Greenberg tells me that all of this indicates that skepticism of the law does not necessarily translate into support for the GOP repeal stance — or GOP gains – and so Dems should not let that skepticism divide them.

“For sure, the rollout mess hurt the president and shifted the focus away from the hated Republican Congress,” he says. “But in the battlegrounds, the voters are split down the middle. This is not a wedge issue. Voters still want to implement and fix. Democrats can, and should, engage on health care.”