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HUFFPOLLSTER: Little Change In Perceptions Of Health Care Law

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President Barack Obama speaks at the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. President Barack Obama encouraged international businesses and investors to bring new investment and jobs to the United States. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) | AP

The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking survey finds little change in views of Obamacare despite widely publicized problems. More polls confirm a nailbiter (and perhaps a new favorite) in the Boston Mayor's race. And Republicans are divided on climate change. This is HuffPollster for Friday, November 1, 2013.

KAISER HEALTH TRACKING FINDS LITTLE CHANGE - Kaiser Family Foundation: "The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, conducted October 17--23, finds that the public reported paying more attention this month to the political fights over the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling than technical problems with the opening of the online federal health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As the rollout of the law and website problems made headlines, most Americans give the federal government fair or poor ratings when it comes to implementing the law, while ratings of their own state governments are only slightly better. Despite all this, public opinion on the law holds steady in this month’s tracking poll (44 percent unfavorable versus 38 percent favorable). A majority continues to oppose defunding the ACA, and more want Congress to expand it or keep the law as is rather than repeal it...This month, the share of the public who feel they have enough information about the law to understand how it will impact their family edged up by 8 percentage points to 55 percent, though over half of the uninsured continue to say they don’t have enough information." [KFF]

2013-11-01-KaiserPollViewsofACA.png

Similar to NBC/WSJ results - From Mark Murray's report earlier this week: "In addition, the health care law is slightly less popular than it was earlier this month, according to the poll. Thirty-seven percent see it as a good idea, versus 47 percent who see it as a bad idea. That’s down from the 38 percent good idea, 43 percent bad idea in the previous survey. But the public is divided over whether the problems associated with the health-care law’s federal website are a short-term issue than can be solved, or a long-term issue that signals deeper troubles. In the poll, 37 percent say that the website woes are a short-term technical problem that can be fixed, while 31 percent believe they point to a longer-term issue with the law’s design that can’t be corrected. Another 30 percent think it’s too soon to say." [NBC]

ONE MORE VIRGINIA POLL - Richmond Times-Dispatch: "With just five days before Virginia voters head to the polls, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli by 7 points in the race for governor, 45 percent to 38 percent, according to the latest survey of likely voters conducted by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis is also polling at 10 percent...Perhaps most significantly, the latest poll demonstrates clearly that Sarvis' candidacy is adversely affecting Cuccinelli's support, with 37 percent of Sarvis supporters saying they would have otherwise voted for Cuccinelli if the Libertarian were not in the race. By comparison, only 17 percent of Sarvis supporters said they would cast ballots for McAuliffe if Sarvis were not running." [Times-Dispatch]

-RealClearPolitics' Sean Trende: "For all the talk about the recent Q-Pac Poll in VA, [Christopher Newport University poll] shows no movement; almost all recent polls show a 6--8 point McAuliffe lead." [@SeanTrende]

ANOTHER BOSTON POLL SHOWS WALSH LEADING - Joe Battenfeld: "State Rep. Martin J. Walsh has staged a late rally in the race for Boston mayor, surging past opponent John R. Connolly in the final days of the historic battle to replace Mayor Thomas M. Menino, a new Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll reveals. Walsh, who trailed Connolly by 7 points less than four weeks ago, now leads by a 46--43 percent margin, according to the poll of 555 very likely Boston voters." [Boston Herald]

While a PAC supporting Connolly still finds him ahead David S. Bernstein: "Democrats For Education Reform (DFER), which is supporting John Connolly in Boston’s mayoral race, is sending an email to its members today informing them that their own polling shows Connolly leading Marty Walsh….I have been given a look at the full topline results of that Anzalone Liszt Grove Research [D] polling. It shows Connolly leading Walsh 43 percent to 36 percent from October 24--29 (likely voters, including leaners); after leading 41 percent to 36 percent from October 20--24, and 40 percent to 36 percent from October 14--17." [Boston Magazine]

But Connolly says his own "internals" show a tie - John Connolly appearing on Friday on Boston Public Radio: "Our internal poll, we're in the field every night, our internal poll has it as a dead heat, literally the numbers I saw were 42--42, but overall I think it's just an entirely volatile race, and it's tight." [@WGBH, via @SKoczela]

Walsh has edge on Pollster chart - Pollster's chart for the Boston Mayor's race, based on all available public polls except the Connolly internal surveys, now gives Walsh a very narrow advantage (44.7 to 43.2 percent). With the Anzalone-Liszt-Grove polls excluded, Walsh would lead by a larger margin (46.6 to 42.4 percent). We are not including the "internal" numbers referenced by candidate Connolly because sufficient methodological information is unavailable and the Connolly campaign has declined to comment further about their internal polling. [Pollster chart, chart without Anzalone-Liszt polls]

Mass Numbers' analysis looks similar - Brent Benson: "A graph of the polling numbers fitted with linear regression lines shows a clear rise for Walsh from the low 30s in early October, to the mid 40s this week. The fit for the Connolly line shows a slight rise, but with much less confidence in the fit." [Mass Numbers]

2013-11-01-MassNumbersChart.png

REPUBLICANS DIVIDED OVER CLIMATE CHANGE - Pew Research: "Two-thirds of Americans (67%) say there is solid evidence that the earth has been getting warmer over the last few decades, a figure that has changed little in the past few years. While partisan differences over climate change remain substantial, Republicans face greater internal divisions over this issue than do Democrats. Just 25% of Tea Party Republicans say there is solid evidence of global warming, compared with 61%of non-Tea Party Republicans...Among Tea Party Republicans, the largest share –41% – says that global warming is just not happening, while another 28% say not enough is known. Among non-Tea Party Republicans, just 13% say global warming is not happening and among Democrats and Democratic leaners, just 4% express this view." [Pew Research]

-Pew Research's Mike Dimock, via Twitter: "One graphic shows how split GOP is on #GlobalWarming relative to Democrats." [@MichaelDimock]

2013-11-01-DimockTweet.png

-Pew Research's Russ Oates: "If you liked our Tea Party/Non-Tea Party breaks on climate, here [is a chart] for other issues." [Chart, @RussOates]

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FRIDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to more news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-Guess who's ahead in the New Jersey gubernatorial race? You're right! [FDU]

-Americans are as satisfied with most aspects of their lives as they were in 1998, but less satisfied with their savings and future. [Gallup]

-Republicans don't agree on who their national party leader should be... PPP]

-...And increasingly souring on their own party. [Wall Street Journal]

-Virginians reported more personal inconvenience from the shutdown than other Americans. [WaPost]

-John Sides reminds that vice-presidential picks have very little influence on election outcomes. [WaPost's Monkey Cage]

-David Nir (D) gives Virginia polling the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure treatment. [Daily Kos]