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HUFFPOLLSTER: As Health Exchange Enrollment Surges, ACA Opinions Remain Unchanged

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President Barack Obama addresses U.S. and Philippine troops at Fort Bonifacio in Manila, the Philippines, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Obama is wrapping up his four country eight day tour of Asia. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Kaiser Family Foundation national poll finds attitudes about Obamacare remaining stable despite the recent surge in enrollment. A new ABC/Post poll has discouraging news for President Obama and his party's Senate majority. But at least most Americans say they'd save him from drowning. This is HuffPollster for Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

THE BIGGEST REASON NOT TO SIGN UP FOR ACA: THE COSTS - Jeff Young: "The top reason uninsured people didn't enroll in coverage under Obamacare this year is they still don't feel like they can afford health insurance, according to a new survey. The findings in a report published by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Tuesday highlight the affordability gap facing some U.S. households, especially those with incomes near or above the income cutoff for tax credits that reduce premiums, or those who simply don't believe health insurance is a good value. Thirty-six percent of people without health coverage reported they looked for health insurance during the enrollment period that nominally ended March 31, but found the available plans too expensive, according to the Kaiser Family Found
ation survey." [HuffPost]

Impressions stable despite enrollment surge... - Kaiser Family Foundation: "The enrollment surge at the end of March in the health insurance exchanges, created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was widely covered in the news, as was the announcement that at least 8 million people have used the new marketplaces to sign up for coverage. The news got a fair amount of attention from the public, with over half saying they followed the enrollment numbers 'very' or 'fairly closely.' But the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that this news did little to change the public’s impressions of the law, with overall opinion remaining exactly where it was last month (46 percent unfavorable, 38 percent favorable)." [Kaiser]

2014-04-29-KFFACAFavorable2.png

...yet most oppose repeal - David Lauter: "Nearly 3 in 5 Americans said they would prefer to see their representatives in Congress 'work to improve' the healthcare law rather than 'work to repeal the law and replace it with something else,' according to the latest Kaiser Family Foundation healthcare poll...A survey by Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg found a similar division on the question of fixing the law versus repealing it. Among likely voters in competitive congressional districts, 52% say the country should 'implement and fix the healthcare reform law' while 42% say they want to 'repeal and replace' it, he found." [LA Times]

2014-04-29-KFFFixorRepealACA.png

'America has convinced itself Obamacare is a disaster' - Sarah Kliff: "Most Americans don't think Obamacare hit its enrollment target, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds. Nearly six in 10 Americans (57 percent) said the law fell "short of expectations" on sign-ups. About a third thought that the law had either met or that it exceeded sign-up expectations. (The second option, by the way, is the right answer: 8 million people signed up for private coverage on the exchanges after budget forecasters had projected 7 million.) This is an especially bizarre finding when you look at another question in the same poll of the same people. a slight majority of Americans either accurately estimate or overestimate enrollment. This means there's some universe of people who think Obamacare hit 8 million enrollees — and also think it fell short of sign-up goals." [Vox]

OBAMA'S APPROVAL REMAINS IN A SLUMP - Dan Balz and Peyton M. Craighill: "Democrats face serious obstacles as they look to the November elections, with President Obama’s approval rating at a new low and a majority of voters saying they prefer a Congress in Republican hands to check the president’s agenda, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll….Obama’s low rating could be a significant drag on Democratic candidates this fall — past elections suggest that when approval ratings are as low as Obama’s, the president’s party is almost certain to suffer at the ballot box in November." [WashPost, ABC]

Lowest ever? - Not quite. HuffPollster: "HuffPost Pollster's average, which incorporates all public polling, shows Obama's approval barely ticking up this year, rising about a point since January. The Pollster average currently puts him just under 44 percent, barely a percentage point better than his all-time low of 42.5 in December." [HuffPost]

Economics plays a role - Regression analyses find that views of the economy are second only to partisanship in predicting House vote preference. [ABC

2014 'starting to look a lot like' 2010 - Scott Clement: "A new Washington Post-ABC News poll offers fresh evidence that Democrats are facing major enthusiasm problems within their base that make it difficult -- if not impossible -- for them to rebuild the winning coalition put together by President Obama in 2012. While nearly seven in 10 of all registered voters say they are "absolutely certain" to vote in November, several key Democratic constituencies are much less committed to voting. Barely half of voters ages 18 to 39 are certain about voting (53 percent) and 55 percent of non-whites describe themselves as certain to cast a ballot. By contrast, more than seven in 10 whites and voters older than 40 say they will definitely cast ballots -- both groups that have favored Republicans in the past two elections." [WashPost]

Twitter counterpoints

-Steve Koczela: "How many more times can someone write a poll story that says '2014 turnout isn't 2012 turnout' and call it news? [@skoczela]

-Amy Walter: "Two observations about polling: 1) likely voter in April not same as one in Nov; 2) nat'l polls are pretty worthless" [@amyewalter]

POLL FINDS YOUNG AMERICANS UNENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT MIDTERMS - HuffPollster: "Fewer than a quarter of adults under 30 are sure they'll vote this November, according to a new poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics. The low number isn't in itself surprising: Turnout among young voters regularly drops in midterm elections. The latest numbers suggest, however, youth turnout could dip below the level of 2010, when 31 percent said in February of that year they'd definitely vote, and about 23 percent actually made it to the polls….The new poll found young Democrats to be especially unmotivated: Those who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 were 9 percentage points less likely than those who voted for Mitt Romney to say they're definitely voting this time….Americans are not particularly good at predicting whether they will vote. The survey's results on possible turnout, however, point to a sense of disaffection among young adults that's borne out elsewhere in the poll. " [HuffPost]

-Turnout scholar Michael McDonald: "This is overblown projection from one poll. Census reports youth midterm turnout steady 1972--2010. Why sudden change now?" [@ElectProject]

-Sasha Issenberg: "Your regular reminder: asking people how likely they are to vote is worthless. From the @Slate archives: [Slate]" [@victorylab]

AMERICANS DIVIDED OVER MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROSPECTS - Pew Research: "Amid the breakdown of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, the public is divided over whether a way can be found for a peaceful two-state solution in the Middle East. Overall, 46% say an independent Palestinian state can coexist peacefully with Israel, 44% do not think this can happen. A year ago, 50% thought it was possible for an independent Palestinian state to exist peacefully alongside Israel, 41% did not. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 23--27 among 1,501 adults, finds that Republicans are particularly skeptical about the prospects for a peaceful two-state solution: just 34% think a way can be found for this to happen. Independents (50%) and Democrats (52%) are more optimistic that a solution can be found." [Pew]

AMERICANS THINK PUTIN WOULD LET OBAMA DROWN - Emily Swanson: "Last week, the world learned that Barack Obama would, in fact, save Vladimir Putin from drowning. But according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll, Americans don't think Putin would return the favor. Responding to a question at a news conference in South Korea last week, Obama said, 'I absolutely would save Mr. Putin if he were drowning.' He noted, 'I used to be a pretty good swimmer. I grew up in Hawaii.' Most Americans think that's true. In the new poll, they said by a 53 percent to 29 percent margin that they think the U.S. president would save his Russian counterpart from a watery death….Neither Obama nor Putin, though, addressed what they think would happen in the opposite scenario. But the HuffPost poll asked the question about Obama in watery trouble, too. It found that the 25 percent of Americans who think Putin would save him were far outnumbered by the 51 percent who think he would not….[M]ost Americans say that they themselves would save either world leader. Seventy-one percent said they would save Obama, while 57 percent said they would save Putin." [HuffPost]

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

-David Perdue and Jack Kingston lead the Georgia GOP Senate primary. [Survey USA]

-PPP (D) shows Thom Tillis "breaking away from the pack" in North Carolina's Republican primary for Senate, as does Civitas (R). [PPP, Civitas]

-Rasmussen finds Mike Michaud and Paul LePage tied in the Maine gubernatorial race. [Rasmussen]

-Chris Christie's horse race numbers against Hillary Clinton aren't much different from those of other potential Republican candidates. [FDU Public Mind]

-Suffolk University finds Al Franken polling in the mid-40s against GOP rivals. [Suffolk]

-It's Mike Huckabee's turn for a YouGov public opinion "reputation audit." [YouGov]

-Few Americans report being contacted by campaigns through mobile technology. [Gallup]

-Kaiser Fung is unhappy with the charts produced by the WSJ's Numbers Guy feature since Carl Bialik left. [Junk Charts]

-Carl Bialik finds that U.S. polls that interview in English only (offering no option for Spanish) understate interest in the World Cup. [538]

-Nate Silver estimates that most Clippers fans are minorities. [538]

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